09-Oct-2004 -- This is the 24th out of 29 confluence visits on our tour from Germany to China, the story continues from 27N 108E.
On the fifth biking day in Guizhou I started in the town Rong'an, 50 km east of the confluence. The terrain was extremely hilly and it was hard to climb the mountains by bike. But it was worth it due to spectacular views, see photo 9 and photo 10. Just 3 km before entering the city Kaiyang I had to leave the highway for to visit the confluence at an intersection being 6 km away by bee-line. The side road towards Nanlong (= South Dragon) has its minimum distance to the CP at the village Dingfang (2.9 km from CP). In Dingfang, I found another turnoff made of concrete paving slaps. Actually, at that time, I was very hungry. I didn't carry any food and the villages were too small to have restaurants. It's never a good idea to begin a confluence hunt on an empty stomach, because you never know how long it is going to take. But with these things in mind, a mobile Dumplings-Shop came by on his bike. He must have come right from heaven.
The concrete road ended soon and I continued on a muddy path through fields and forests. I soon realized that my bike had become more of a hassle than of a help. I hid it in a forest and packed my important belongings in my backpack. The remaining 1.4 km were up an extremely steep hill, followed by a deep plunge down. It didn't look good at all. There was a valley ahead with almost vertical grades. I was close to giving up, when I saw two tiny rice fields on the other side. So I concluded there must be a path. Indeed, after a while I found a path leading down to the rapid river and crossing it by a little bridge. Now there were still 270 m to go and I wasn't sure whether I could make it or not due to vertical rock faces ahead. But in-between the rocks was a path, which had obviously not been used for quite a while as there were huge spiders all over the place. Their nets were enormously strong and stretched across the path at every single meter. Progress was slow, but possible. At a distance of 41 m I had to leave the path in order to get a zero reading. Believe me, I did my very best to get closer and started to climb some verticals. But the vegetation was too dense, and on a vertical there is no horizontal progress anyway. Without bush knife it was impossible. This was the third confluence in a row without getting a zero reading at the GPS-display, but nevertheless, I was happy to have made it.
On my way back I had to hurry in order to find my bicycle with the remaining daylight. I made it back to the bike just in time, then back to the path, back to the track, back to the road with slowly approaching civilization. At 7 p.m. I reached the nearby city Kaiyang in only 5 km distance beeline.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 5:20 p.m.
- Duration: 3 h 30 min (until I was back on my route)
- Distance of bike parking: 1300 m
- GPS height: 1110 m
- Description: On an extremely steep grade in dense jungle. About half way up the mountain. The vegetation is rich from bamboo to unidentifiable berries, trees, lianas and ranks. The steep mountains and narrow valleys are impressive. Most spectacular scenery for a CP on this trip.
- Given Name: The Spider Confluence
Story continues at 27N 106E.