30-Jun-2014 -- Story continues from 42°N 125°E.
We continued our journey west along the expressway into the setting sun, stopping for the night in Fŭshùn (抚顺市). We had some difficulty finding a hotel that would accept foreigners. Eventually we were able to check into the Taipei Suites Hotel. It was late, and we immediately went out for some dinner. Everyone was very tired, but Peter had to stay up late to do some work.
The next morning, we awoke to another bright sunny day. It looked set to be a hot one! Peter still had some more work to do, so Andy and I used the time to explore a very long street market that extended from the front of our hotel for about a kilometre. There was a tremendous assortment of sights and smells to savour.
Eventually we got underway, and drove as far as we could along a deteriorating track towards the confluence. Just as we decided it would be prudent not to test the limits of the rental car any further, a horse and cart appeared in front of us, and we had to reverse down the track to a clearing in front of an old abandoned school to allow the horse and cart past.
We elected to leave the car here, taking advantage of the shade provided by the school to change into our long clothes and protective footwear. Before heading off to the confluence 500 metres away, we spent some time exploring both floors of the school, or what was left of it. The second floor offered a good view of the valley we had just driven up, in which cornfields predominated.
We followed the track along the northern side of a stream, past more cornfields, until the confluence was roughly 250 metres to the south. We then walked through some fields of soya beans, crossed the stream, through some more soya beans, then hit a wall of nearly impenetrable foliage. We walked back and forth along the top edge of the field looking for a way forward. In the end, we just had to make our own path. It was pretty rough going up the steep slope, but we made it in the end.
On the way, Peter inadvertently felled a dead tree he was using for support, after which he pronounced himself "Superman." Andy naturally tried to emulate him, with hilarious results.
Perched on the slope, clinging to trees in order to stay upright, we took the GPS and north-south-east-west shots, then a group shot where we all looked extremely pleased with our accomplishment. Although this confluence had been visited once before, it was certainly the most challenging one of our trip.
Story continues at 43°N 124°E.