25-Sep-2004 -- 46 N – 126 E Heilongjiang（黑龙江), China
Visit Date: Sep 25, 2004
This is the 5th confluence point visited by the Yip-Bannicq group (Ray) in Heilongjiang with a group of co-workers and friends: Also this is the 2nd successful line hunting on the same afternoon, about an hour and a half after we visited 46N 125E. Other members of the hunting party were: Wei Xiao-Yu, Li-Di, Liu Fei, Zhang Rui Da, Zhong Hua, and Huang Tao.
We had actually identified this particular confluence point one day earlier during our 180 km drive on the expressway from Harbin to Da Qing, the oil capital of China. Using the GPS as a guide, Ray noticed that our van was heading straight toward the point. We came within 450 meters and had a good view of the general area of the CP which was on the other side of the expressway. We did not stop to complete the hunt because we have were already late for an appointment in Da Qing and it would not have been a good idea to cross over to the other side of the expressway.
The next day, on our way back to Harbin, we parked the van on the emergency lane of the expressway and hiked the 400 remaining meters and reached the confluence point easily. The only obstacle was the fact that we had to sneak cross a barbed wire fence along the expressway.
This confluence point is located in a dried up salt or alkaline marsh land. Fortunately there was no recent rain which would have turned the marsh land in true mush and made it difficult for us to walk on.
The stopover for the hunt took us 20 minutes and we reached the confluence point at 3.45pm. Ray and Wei Xiaoyu were supposed to catch the 6 pm flight to Beijing. It suddenly occurred to us that we might not have enough time, given we still had over 100 km to go including crossing a good part of Harbin city.
With some tense moments on the highway, we made it to the airport check-in counter by 5.29 pm, exactly one minute before the closing of this flight. The most memorable part of this line-hunting trip was the dash for catching the flight. We are in debt to our local host, Dr. Wu for indulging us with the two stops for line-hunting and enduring the stress of rushing to the airport.
This confluence point will be remembered as the “under-the-wire confluence point”, in part because we had to cross the barbed wired fence to reach the point and also in part for the fact that we have made our flight just “under the wire”.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge: 1 – right off the expressway except for crossing the barbed wire fence it was a very easy hunt (Scale: 1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery: 2– Dried up salt and alkaline marsh land, not a typical farmland found for most of the hunt in northern China(Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: 1– Near the oil filed nothing very interesting from social or culture point of view (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)