21-Jul-2015 -- This is the 11th out of 17 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 36°N 100°E.
In the morning, I started cycling from Tóngdé (同德县), which is located about 50 km north-west of the confluence point. Tóngdé is about 1000 m lower than this confluence, so I had quite some climbs. The local population is mostly Tibetan and as soon as got above 3300 m altitude, the area consisted of grassland with yaks, cows, and sheep grazing almost everywhere. At a distance of 16 km, I left the main road S101 and turned into a gravel road leading to Zékù (泽库). At a distance of 4 km, I had again to turn into a smaller road. This time, it was more of a track than a road. Half way, the track ended for cars and only a small path for pedestrians or motor-cycles continued. At the highest point of the track, I met a nice Tibetan family, who enjoyed taking pictures of this crazy German cyclist. But after they had left, I had an awkward experience with a man, asking me what I am doing. He demanded that I should give him my GPS receiver. I quickly put it in my pocket and coasted down the hill. Thankfully, he didn’t follow me.
The confluence is located 700 m from that path. I parked my bicycle and walked along the ridge up to 150 m distance. Some yaks ahead of me got afraid when I approached them and they managed to jump over a huge fence! Finally, I located the confluence on hilly grassland. Edelweiss and other to me unknown flowers were growing around the point.
After the visit, I walked back to my bike and pondered quite long on which way I should continue. Going further westwards was a shortcut, but just grassland without any visible tracks. The option of going back eastward meant a detour and was fraught with the risk to meet the demanding man. I nevertheless opted to go back. To my relief, I didn’t bump into the man again and safely reached the town Zékù in the afternoon.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to the road: 4 km
- Distance to a track: 700 m
- Walking distance: 650 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 650 m
- Time to reach the CP from the track: 10 min
- Time at the CP: 12:34 noon
- Measured height: 4007 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 3 m
- Topography: hilly
- Vegetation: grass, edelweiss, various flowers
- Weather: partly cloudy, 14° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Demanding Man Confluence
The story continues at 35°N 102°E.