02-Oct-2004 -- 40 N – 119 E Hebei, China
Visit Date: October 2, 2004
This is our anniversary line-hunting trip for the Yip-Bannicq Group.
The same cast of hunting party (Sierra, Florence, Ray), and the line-hunting dog (Oreo) visited our first confluence point (41N 116E) a year ago during the Chinese National holiday week (Oct 1-7). This is the 28th hunting trip by members of the Group.
The object of this hunt was one of the remaining unvisited confluence point within striking distance from Beijing. Based on the map, 40N-119E located about 200 km from Beijing. This CP is located not too far from the expressway going from Beijing to the Liaoning province.
We left home before 9 am and reached the township – Chen-Guan-Tun- off the expressway nearest to the CP before 11 am. Based on our GPS reading, we had a 12 km straight-line distance to go. -
Following the GPS we were able to drive to the CP which turned out to be located in the middle of a village called He-Guan-Tun. After parking our car, we walked the 70 remaining meters through a narrow alley and found the CP located about 10 meters inside a walled family compound. Fortunately, the door was wide open.
We went into the compound and we were greeted by the lady of the house and her young daughter. As to be expected, they looked somewhat concerned at first to see a group of strange looking people with a big dog in their yard. We explained that their home was located in a very special place and that we had driven all the way from Beijing to see what it looked like. When the lady (Mrs. He) realized that we meant no harm and only wished to take a few pictures, she became quite friendly..
As it turns out this, CP is located right against the wall at the end of the house with an eight meters accuracy of the GPS, this means that the CP could very well be inside the house. We went inside to take a look at the part of the house where the CP could be located. The room was a storage area for baking material and the next room was a bakery.
The main business of the family is running the bakery. Most the items in the bakery were fresh so we bought two different kinds of pastries from Mrs. He. We also took a few pictures for the mother and daughter and promise to mail them later. Later we found out the pastries were delicious.
Sierra was happy that this was an easy hunt, only 70 meters of walking. Last one she did in Inner Mongolia (41N 112E), we had to walk for 5 hours, and she almost died. We completed the hunt by 11.30 am, and this was the first CP we have visited located inside someone’s home. A very unusual experience. We are not sure there is another CP anywhere located in a bakery.
Because we completed the hunt relatively early, we drove further east to the coast near where 40N-120E is located off the coast within the Liaoning province. We reached the beach which is the nearest point on land, about 6.5 km away, from 40N-120E. It was a windy day, so we decided not to find a boat to go to the CP, instead we headed north taking the expressway to go after 41N-121E.
We got within 6 km from the 41N-121E and while we were going through a very narrow road up hill near a village, suddenly an old man with a donkey cart filled with corn stalk came down the hill. It was a major effort to back our car to a small patch of corn field to let the donkey pass and as a result, we managed to get our car hopelessly stuck in the dirt with one wheel suspended in the air. Fortunately, a tractor coming down the same hill happened to have a steel cable and pulled our car out of this jam. By then it was 5.45 pm and the sun had started to set. The majority of the hunting party voted to turn back – so close , yet so far..
After a seafood dinner near the ocean, we made it home right at midnight. What a day this was. One big line-hunting day with one successful hunt and two missed by 6 km, including one that could kept us stuck in a village for a long time...
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge: 1 – a straight drive off the expressway (Scale: 1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery: 3– inside the yard and house in a village (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: 2– post harvest time in rural northern China (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)