05-Sep-2000 -- At the end of August I travelled through China.
I've been very impressed by the cooperativeness
of the chinese people and their great progress.
The only problems we were having, was getting used to the Chinese breakfast
because it’s very different to ours (for example fat soup, no
coffee, no black tea). Other than that the food tastes fine, but I would prefer to eat food like this at
lunch and not early in the morning. The second problem we had was the
communication. And this was a reason too, why my first attempt to shoot a confluence
point failed. There had been only busses or taxis available, so you have to choose a route, which
leads close to a CP. We, my girlfriend and I, detected on a city map an old monastry nearby a
CP, which we declared as our target, because we didn’t believe that it could be possible to
explain to a chinese taxi driver that we were looking for a CP. So we reached the monastry, but the
road to the CP ended 8 km away from the CP. Tired and soaked in with sweat we decided in
the late afternoon to cancel this project.
The next possibility to finally catch a CP came in Yangshuo,
a beautiful village close to the
Lijang River. I can recommend to everyone to visit this environment. The distance by bus to the
next CP has been ca. 80 km and with the help of my map (scale 1:4 million!) I could only
detect, that there was a river nearby and a street. So we took in the morning a bus to Guilin,
because they told us, that only from the main station there would be a connection in this
direction, where we wanted to go to (by the way this was a wrong piece of information). We
explained, that we wanted to go to a certain city (we chose any which laid in our direction,
because we couldn’t explain our real target) with the result that nobody could believe, what the
hell we wanted to search there, because there aren't any sensational touristic sights there.
But finally we continued our journey over bad roads in an overcrowded bus but through an
interesting, real and vivid China. Always watching the GPS dials, losing often the contact to
the satellites and therefore forced to change the seat. So the biggest advantage of this transport-
system has been that we could step out 1 km away from the CP although there wasn’t any stop.
The driver stopped when we told him, that we want to go out there -- middle in nowhereland.
He doesn’t seem to wonder, maybe he thought that's normal for these crazy longnoses ;-)
A network of small paths through flooded rice-fields (with a lot of snakes inside, I’m sure!)
lead us to a river which stopped our expedition in an inhuman way. Only 100 meters still left to
our CP, but on the other side of the river. What to do? Swim and risk drowning or give up and
get the second class qualification having only attempted to find the CP, the first CP
Two events helped us. At first, we saw a farmer on the other side walking alongside the river.
Therefore there must be a path. Secondly we could see a bridge crossing the river in a distance
of approx. 2 km. So we used the second advantage of the chinese transport system -- you can see
everywhere one of these motorised Rikschas. We stopped one and he took us to the bridge and
then we had "only" to walk the 2 km to the target. And it worked. We passed a beautiful way
through rice-fields, rounded a little hill and detected the CP N25E110 in the middle of a dry
rice-field. Reward for a beautiful day which finally ended lucky.