29-Jul-2012 -- This is the last out of 20 confluence points that I reached on a bicycle trip to the North-East of China. The narrative of the trip starts from 41°N 117°E.
On confluence day I started in the town Tōnghé (通何县), which is about 60 km east of the confluence. It had rained during the night. More precisely, it had poured down cats and dogs all night and the streets and roads were flooded. Even leaving the hotel was a challenge because the street around it had turned into a big lake.
I cycled to the town Mùlán (木兰县), which is in 7 km distance from the confluence point. From there, a turnoff from the main road connected some villages with one of them being Báijiātún (白家屯), which is 300 m from the confluence point. Due to the heavy rain, nobody was on the street, besides this farmer, who invited me to his home.
The nearest concrete slab is located 180 m from the confluence. I parked my bike there and walked a very muddy track to the confluence. Interestingly, the confluence point is exactly in the center of a little pond. I went around it, but could not come closer than 5 m without sinking down in the soft ground. The pond is overgrown with beautiful flowers and duckweed. The area around is farmland with the main crop being rice.
Here, the confluence story ends. I could have went on cycling and confluencing – after four weeks of such a trip I felt a harmony of such a life: getting up early, enjoying the great Chinese breakfast, cycling on little side roads or tracks, answering the people's questions about my whereabouts and in the evening arriving at a hotel, having a shower and again enjoying food in a restaurant nearby. All in all it was an unforgettable trip. Right after visiting this confluence point, the heaviest rain I could image hit me on the bike. It was so heavy, that the joy was simply the heaviness of it – riding constantly in water even though the road surface was concrete. When I reached Harbin (the final destination of my trip), the city center was under water. As a little reward of that last tough day, I treated myself with scallops and Sìchuān boiled fish.
CP visit details:
- Distance to an asphalt (or concrete) road: 180 m
- Distance to a track: 180 m
- Distance to a footpath: 50 m
- Duration of the hike to reach the CP: 10 minutes
- Distance of bicycle parking: 180 m
- Distance to houses: 200 m
- Time at the CP: 9:30 AM
- Measured height: 180 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 5 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 4 m
- Topography: slightly hilly
- Vegetation: diverse. In the lake are growing reeds, duckweed and flowering hydrophytes, around the pond are various trees, grass and rice paddies
- Weather: rain, 20° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Flower Pond Confluence
The story finishes here.