06-Aug-2005 -- Story continues from 31°N 118°E.
Sat 6 Aug 2005 (Day 9, cont'd), 12:55 p.m. - We get off the bus at the main road because we do not want to return west to Tongling, but rather head east to Xuancheng, capital of Xuancheng Prefecture. To our surprise, we discover a small bus station only a short distance down the road, and we wait here for a bus going our way.
1:20 p.m. - A bus heading to Xuancheng pulls into the small bus station, and we are on our way. The rain continues on and off.
2:45 p.m. - Upon arrival in Xuancheng, we take a taxi to the East Bus Station. Ten minutes later we are on board a bus west to Honglin Township.
<40 p.m.="">We arrive in Honglin, which turns out to be quite a small place. The confluence is 2.9 kilometres NE. Because of the rain and the fact that we have our large bags with us, we decide to find some transport to Shenjiabian Village, which should be near the confluence. After negotiating with the drivers of several varying types of transport--cars, minivans and three-wheelers--we eventually engage a minivan driver to take us to Shenjiabian, wait for us for 30 minutes, then bring us back to Honglin.
As it turns out, after arriving in Shenjiabian, which is situated on a hill overlooking the confluence just 450 metres to the WSW, it takes us a full hour to actually reach the confluence itself. The minivan driver remains surprisingly patient throughout the affair, despite being totally baffled by our antics.
Our first attempt at reaching the confluence is thwarted just over 100 metres east of our goal by a "river". We spend a good deal of time looking for a way over or around this obstacle. We finally find a way, but the confluence is now 370 metres SSW of us.
Eventually we get the zeroes, seven metres into a rice paddy. The whole enterprise would be much more enjoyable without the constant rain and almost gale-force, blustery wind that continually turns our umbrellas inside out: conditions which make taking the north-south-east-west shots without getting raindrops on the camera lens a real trial.
Story continues at 30°N 118°E.