27-Jul-2010 -- This is the 7th out of eight confluence reports referring to a bicycle tour through Yúnnán. The trip starts from 25°N 102°E.
After visiting 27°N 100°E near Lìjiāng (丽江), I continued cycling westwards to the town Yǒngshèng (永胜县) – this is a great road for cycling with a spectacular crossing of the Yangtze River.
On confluence day, I started from Yǒngshèng (永胜), which is 70 km south-west of the confluence point. The road is typical Yúnnánian: continuous steep climbs up and down. What I found amazing was that the confluence point is less than 80 km beeline from Lìjiāng (丽江), one of China’s top tourist destinations, but this area around the confluence never sees any tourists. When I stopped in the villages Jiànhé (践河) and Pǎomǎpíng (跑马坪), curious residents surrounded me, telling that they had only seen foreigners in Lìjiāng, but never in their own villages.
The village Pǎomǎpíng (跑马坪) with its 2 km distance from the CP and its asphalted main road between Yǒngshèng and Nínglàng (宁蒗) is a good starting point for the confluence visit. When I reached Pǎomǎpíng at 2 pm, I didn’t stop there in order to avoid questions concerning my destination which I wouldn’t have been able to answer satisfactorily. I spotted the cobblestone road towards the village Héxī (河西村) and followed it uphill until I was within a distance of 270 m. Here, I hid my bike behind a bush and hiked up a steep hill.
The confluence point is on an area with scattered pine trees and ferns. To the west, there is a good few down into the valley and the mountains behind.
I was surrounded by gazing sheep and goats. The sheepherders, two 14-year old boys were in view. While I was occupied with documenting the confluence, the boys shouted “Hello, what do you do?” I was very surprised to hear English in particular here at that remote location. And I was laughing to myself: the boys asked a very smart question – what did I actually do here?
After the visit I cycled back to Pǎomǎpíng. Here, my bicycle trip ended due to time constraints. Otherwise, I would have loved to continue and keep on cycling & hunting. I took a bus back to Yǒngshèng, the next day another bus to Pānzhīhuā (攀枝花) and then a train to Chéngdū, where I met my friends to visit one more confluence.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 2 km
- Distance to a footpath: ca. 200 m
- Distance of parking the bike: 270 m
- Distance to houses: 500 m
- Time starting the hike: 2:30 p.m.
- Time at the CP: 2:57 p.m.
- Riding time (distance) from Yǒngshèng: 5:30 hours (75 km)
- Measured height: 2867 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 2 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 9 m
- Topography: On a steep slope almost on the top of a hill.
- Vegetation: pine trees (in some distance), ferns, grass, various flowers.
- Weather: overcast, 24° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In northern Yúnnán province, close to the border to Sichuan.
- Given Name: The What-Do-You-Do Confluence
Story finishes at 31°N 103°E.