the Degree Confluence Project

China : Nèi Měnggǔ Zìzhìqū (Inner Mongolia)

11.6 km (7.2 miles) W of Da Xatar, Nèi Měnggǔ, China
Approx. altitude: 1027 m (3369 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 41°S 71°W

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Looking South #3: Looking East #4: Looking West #5: GPS - Zeroed in! #6: Confluence hunters - left to right, Rainer, Targ, and Peter #7: Donkey Meat for Lunch! #8: Targ is eyeing a possible meal option, but the kid is not so keen on it. #9: Peter and Rainer getting ready for the final assault

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  41°N 109°E (visit #2)  

#1: Looking North

(visited by Peter Cao, Targ Parsons and Rainer Mautz)

01-Jul-2011 -- This is Part One of my eight-point confluence trip.

Rainer Mautz was coming back to China for another confluence hunting bike ride. He contacted Targ Parsons, myself and several others to see if they would like to join him on part of all of his tour. This was particularly good timing for Targ as he was planning a short trip to Shaanxi at this time and was able to alter his plans to meet up with Rainer. Luckily, I also managed to get away for a few days at the same time to join in.

Those of you who have read about Rainer’s 300 or so confluences, know his preferred mode of transport is by bicycle and this trip was no exception. It also happens to be mine, as I am in the business of organizing bike tours in China through bikechina.com. However, Targ prefers public transport whenever possible.

Targ is also a meticulous route planner, in complete contrast to Rainer and I who tend not to read any previous reports and wait and see what we find when we get there. Targ took the initiative to plan our short trip. While doing this he quickly realized that if we used public transport, we would probably only have time to do one or at most two points due to the sparse network of roads and buses.

He then came up with an idea to for us to rent a vehicle. To drive in China, you must be a resident, and I was the only one of our group who could do this. On top of that was the difficulty of getting to the starting point. Rainer had planned on cycling from Beijing to Baotou, Inner Mongolia at the time when Targ and I could get there on June 30. However, the onward flight I planned on taking from Yinchuan Ningxia to Baotou was canceled. So once again Targ to the rescue, suggested I rent a vehicle in Yinchuan and drive to meet them in Wulateqian. So I did, and drove 450 km for a rendezvous on July 1 at the bus station from which Rainer and Targ were to arrive at 10 AM.

Upon meeting up, Targ secured his favorite position as shotgun and was navigator for the day. Targ announced the he and Rainer voted to make me responsible for the reports as they liked my verboseness;so if you get tired of reading these reports you have them to blame.

The day was young, and we were raring to go. The first confluence on the list was 41N 109E, a previously visited, but incomplete because the photo requirements were not met. We were able to drive on paved roads to within 2 km, and then, due to Targ’s work on Google Earth, we was able to pinpoint the best possible dirt tracks to take. The area is flat farmland with sunflower as the predominant crop and we were able to drive to within 600 meters and park at a farmhouse for the final and successful assault on foot.

This happened to be Targ's first and so far only antipode confluence. He visited 41S 71W on November 17, 2004. He said it was interesting to think about the fact that the antipode I'd done before in Argentina was *directly* below us, not off over the horizon somewhere. Not surprisingly, Rainer has three antipodes to his name. Jonas Beuchert from Germany is collating the antipodes as a research project for an upcoming book on Antipodes and contacted both Targ and Rainer. Curiously, he is not listed as having visited any confluences.

Jonas writes: "For the book i ended up with a rather daring approach. As i found the dcp website an excellent medium for a documentation of the whole project, i tried to find an aesthetic way of displaying those photographic memories as both very precious individual experiences but also connected to the bigger idea of dcp. I also had the problem, that some of the photos had insufficient resolution to print them as big as i wanted them- So i changed my plan and came up with the idea of combining two photos taken at two places of this planet with the biggest possible distance to each other and connect them in the smallest imaginable size of one slide. The result is an object rather than a book. The viewer can discover 33 die-cut slides with amazing compositions of antipodal places and some intersections with a special binding technique to juxtapose the antipodes. You can actually detach the slides and use them in a projector (a little bit anachronistic, i admit, but they look beautiful! and funny enough, they are never upside down ;-)) In the end, there is a part with facts about the project, interviews and a list with your photo credits and the regions where the photos where taken. I hope you guys don't find the idea too bold, from all the thing i exhibited, people likded this book the most and became very curious about the dcp project. I am trying to update my website soon with the new projects, for now i added some screenshots from my presentation. Most from the Antipodes book, but also some from the others to give you a brief idea about the project as a whole."

With three GPS’s homing in on their own point, we were able to zero in and record the event in record time.

Upon leaving the confluence we stopped for lunch in the nearby village. There was a new restaurant that opened just 10 days before and the specialty was donkey. Being a vegetarian, I graciously declined. Targ and Rainer tucked in and thought it was great! The restaurant sign also boasted dog, sheep, and chicken. There was a small puppy in the shop and we asked if he was on the menu, but the owner said slightly aghast, no, that that was his son’s pet.

Dubbed: The Reunion and Targ's Antipode Confluence

Rainer’s Recorded Details:

Date: 1.7.2011 CP 41-109 parking 300m, 11:00 at CP

Targ’s Meticulous Notes: 41°N 109°E – 内蒙古

  1. Meet up in 包头市 (Bāotóu). CP 80 km NW.
    • Targ arrives at 19:50 on flight MU9135 from 上海市 (Shànghăi).
    • Peter arrives at 19:05 on flight JR1513 from 银川市 (Yínchuān) - TBC.
    • Rainer will wait at the airport or at a hotel in 包头市.
  2. Travel via bus or train W to 乌拉特前旗 (Wūlātèqiánqí). CP 41 km NE.
    • Train 6851 departs:
      • 包头东 at 9:10 a.m.
      • 包头 at 9:36 a.m.
      • 包头西 at 9:50 a.m.
    • Arrives in 乌拉特前旗 at 11:33 a.m.
  3. Travel via bus NE towards 大佘太镇 (Dàshétài).
  4. Get off at the T-junction at 40°N 57’ 43.0”, 109°E 0’ 9.8”. CP 4.23 km N.
  5. Walk N on dirt road to 40°N 59’ 6.2”, 109°E 0’ 25.1”, where it turns left. CP 1.75 km NNW.
  6. Continue WNW on dirt road to side path on right at 40°N 59’ 17.4”, 108°E 59’ 42.9”. CP 1.37 km NNE.
  7. Walk N on side path between fields (small right-left dogleg halfway) to dirt road at 40°N 59’ 53.1”, 108°E 59’ 48.5”. CP 342 m NE.
  8. Turn right on dirt road, and walk 50 m E towards nearby farmhouse.
  9. 9. Follow path on left side of farmhouse NE, then N, to CP.
  10. NOTE: CP is approximately 1.83 km E of 插宿疙瘩 (Chāsùgēda) or 察素圪旦 (Chásùgēdàn).

 All pictures
#1: Looking North
#2: Looking South
#3: Looking East
#4: Looking West
#5: GPS - Zeroed in!
#6: Confluence hunters - left to right, Rainer, Targ, and Peter
#7: Donkey Meat for Lunch!
#8: Targ is eyeing a possible meal option, but the kid is not so keen on it.
#9: Peter and Rainer getting ready for the final assault
ALL: All pictures on one page