12-Jul-2011 -- This is the second incomplete visit (within a series of three) that I attempted on my bicycle trip along the Great Wall of China. The story starts at 41°N 115°E. The previous report is 39°N 106°E.
I started in the morning at 5:45 AM in the village Hātúhūdūgé (哈图呼都格) located 77 km south-east of the confluence point. All day I followed the desert road 218 that has no real intersections with other roads, nor does it come through towns or even villages. Luckily I found a restaurant (located 9 km due south from the confluence point) where I could eat, drink and escape from the burning midday-sun for a while. Unfortunately, the road turns away from the confluence, circumnavigating it. Now I know why: the terrain near the confluence is extremely hilly in the otherwise flat desert plain. The smallest distance between the road and the confluence is 7.5 km, but there are rugged mountains in-between.
At a distance of 7.8 km from the confluence, I left the road and entered a track that ended after one kilometer at a animal farm.
Half way to the house, I left my bike and started the hike. I took 4 liters of water with me, assuming that I would need 4 hours for the round-trip hike to the confluence and that my body required 1 liter of water every hour. Note that the temperature was around 35° C on that afternoon in July.
It took me 20 minutes to climb the first hill and the distance had only decreased by 600 m, with another 6.8 km to go. But on the top of the hill, I got insight in the upcoming terrain: and endless up- and down. I sat down for a while, rethought my situation and then decided not to risk it. In rugged terrain it can take easily one hour to cover one kilometer in distance.
I continued the bike trip to Ayannurigusumu (巴彦诺日公苏木) located 25 km further north-west and stayed the night there.
Later, having the opportunity to look at the confluence area using Google Maps, I discovered a wadi that a future confluence hunter might consider to follow. Coming from the north, one could follow it up to a distance of less than 1 km.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 7.5 km
- Distance to a track: 7 km
- Distance of parking the bike: 7.4 km
- Distance to houses: 7 km
- Time starting the hike: 14:43 p.m.
- Time at the point of return: 15:03 p.m.
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 6.78 km
- Topography: mountainous area.
- Weather: sunny, 35° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: 25 km beeline south-east of the town Ayannurigusumu (巴彦诺日公苏木) in the Autonomous Region Inner Mongolia.
- Given Name: The Hot Hills Confluence
Story continues at 40°N 104°E.