27-Jul-2015 -- This is the 16th 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 105°E.
In the morning, I started cycling from the town Chángdào (长道镇). After a couple ascends and descends I reached the village Yúshù (榆树乡) in the afternoon heat. Yúshù is 4.7 km from the confluence point. On a sealed road I reached the minimal distance of 820 m. A hid my bicycle under bushes and searched for a route to climb up the confluence mountain. There were a couple of homes along the road. When I asked for a way that leads up the mountain, an elderly woman showed me the public path. A very humid and hot hike began. The air was feeling “thick” due to the high humidity. Hiking up meant caused loosing a liter of water within 30 minutes. But the air was not only thick of water, but also densely populated with all imaginable insects. The first part of the hike was through meadows, the second part steeply upwards through forest. I had to squeeze myself through bamboo thickets.
I found the confluence exactly on a ridge almost on the mountain top. There is a mixed forest of pine, beech and hazelnut trees. A little below the confluence is a dense bamboo forest.
After the visit I continued cycling eastwards. I wanted to reach the town Liǎngdāng (两当县) in order to have a shower in a nice hotel. But following the road would have caused a deviation of 60 km. So I tried to make it through the mountains via a direct route. Local people were advising me not to ride this route. From a driving point of view, this might be true. But on a bicycle, shortcuts can be advantageous. I had to climb 3 mountains over a very bad road surface and I had to ask several times for the correct route. The last hour I had to cycle in darkness, but then I was indeed gifted with a stay in a nice hotel.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to the road: 820 m
- Walking distance: 820 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 820 m
- Time to reach the CP from the track: 1 hour
- Time at the CP: 4:14 PM
- Measured height: 1510 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 11 m
- Topography: steep grade, mountainous
- Vegetation: pine, beech and hazelnut trees, grass and bamboo.
- Weather: clear sky, 36° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Thick Air Confluence
The story continues at 34°N 107°E.