11-Sep-2006 -- This is the 6th confluence visit on a bicycle trip from China to Central Asia. The story starts at 32°N 107°E.
At 6:45 I got up in Hami (the previous day I had taken a sleeper bus from Lanzhou to Hami). The beeline distance to the confluence was 46 km and on the road 55 km. On my bike, it took me just 2 hours to get to the point: the wind was exceptionally favorable and the confluence was located directly near the road between Hami and Sandaoling. Additionally, I had a flat tire, but to put a patch on it delayed the trip by only 10 minutes (on the whole trip I fixed about 20-30 holes in tires).
Right next to the 99km-road marker is a little track that leads the last 350m to the confluence. It winds a little uphill towards a small train station in the middle of nowhere. The final approach through thorns and sizzles was 60m, which I cautiously reached by pushing the bike.
After great and far views to the snow covered mountain ranges of the Barköl Shan, I continued the bike trip to the town Sandaoling.
In Sandaoling I had a great experience with the Uigur Minority while having lunch at the market: whatever I wanted to buy, I was given twice as much as I wanted and that for free. People came and gave me one of the famous Hamigua (honey melon), dates, 2 “nan”-breads, water, a chair, waste disposal service and a free repair of my bicycle rag. All these great things were given from different people – I was overwhelmed.
In the evening I got to a tiny village called Qijiojin, having 145 km on my odometer.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 10:46 p.m.
- Time to reach the CP from the road: 5 minutes
- Distance to a track: 60 m
- Distance to a road: 340 km
- Distance of bicycle parking: 0 m
- Distance to houses: 400 m
- Topography: flat, but a uphill from the road, 4200m high mountains in the North
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 1.14 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 5 m
- GPS height: 799 m
- Vegetation: treeless dry soil, some scattered thorny dwarf-bushes, wine-yards in 500 m distance.
- Weather: sunny (22° felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In Eastern Xinjiang Province, in the (relative) low-lands. Arid and flat alluvium soil. Although the area is hardly populated, the CP is squeezed between the road and a train line. Train station can be seen to the North. Great Views to the 4200m high mountains.
- Given Name: The Generous Uigur Confluence
Story continues at 44°N 91°E