25-Jul-2015 -- This is the 14th out of 18 reports of confluence visits while cycling from Kashgar (喀什) to Xī'ān (西安). I cycled through the Chinese provinces of Xīnjiāng, Qīnghǎi, Gānsù, and Shǎnxī, 3600 km in 25 days. The story starts from 39°N 76°E. The previous report is 34°N 103°E.
In the morning, I started cycling from Luòdá (洛达乡), which is located 2.4 km from the confluence point as the crows fly. I had visited this confluence back in 2006 on a bicycle trip south to north. This time I was heading from west to east and exactly at this confluence point I was crossing my old route. I rarely visit confluences for a second time, but this confluence was an easy catch – too easy to be missed.
As usually, I started cycling with the first daylight. The track to the confluence had a gravel surface 9 years ago, now it has a smooth concrete surface. But the confluence is still on the little hill 62 m from the road. I struggled a little more to climb it up compared to last time. May be I got older, maybe I took the wrong route, but wearing shorts was clearly a mistake that contributed difficulty because the bushes on the hill are thorny.
At the confluence, the GPS accuracy was 30 m which is exceptionally bad. It was a big challenge to get all zeros with such unstable satellite measurements, dancing up and down the steep grade through the thorny vegetation.
Shortly after the visit the sun rose. I continued cycling eastwards. The terrain in southern Gānsù is extremely rugged. To reach the next confluence 92 km further east, I had to cycle 230 km on the road network, including several climbs. I spent the night in the remote mountain village Nányáng (南阳镇).
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to the road: 2.4 km
- Distance to a track: 62 m
- Walking distance: 62 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 62 m
- Time to reach the CP from the track: 15 minutes
- Time at the CP: 6:59 AM
- Measured height: 1904 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 1 m
- Position accuracy: 30 m
- Topography: steep grade, mountainous
- Vegetation: thorny bushes
- Weather: clear sky, 24° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Old Man Climb Confluence
The story continues at 34°N 105°E.