08-Jul-2015 -- This is the second 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.
In the morning of confluence day, I started cycling from downtown Hétián (和田), which was under a sandstorm at the time. But once I had left the city, the sandstorm calmed down and cycling became very pleasant along some water channels until I got within 400 m to the confluence point. There, I saw another police checkpoint. I had to turn northwards crossing a foot-bridge, and at the same time I circumvented the police checkpoint. I was able to get within 70 m on the road network. A water soaked plantation track took me even directly to the confluence point.
The confluence is located in a plantation of walnut-trees and corn crops. The access is fairly easy, but taking into account that Xīnjiāng is under intense control, it might not always be possible to reach the point undiscovered. This one is located about 15 km south of downtown Hétián. Due to its convenient location in a plantation, it had been the only visited confluence within 500 km.
After the visit I cycled further eastwards through the desert. Before entering the town Cèlè (Qira) in the evening, the police at one checkpoint gave me 14 bottles of water! I stayed the night in Cèlè, where I had to wait until 10 PM until the restaurants would open due to Ramadan.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to the road: 400 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 0 m
- Time to reach the CP from the road: 5 min
- Time at the CP: 12:10 noon
- Measured height: 1439 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 3 m
- Topography: flat
- Vegetation: walnut trees and corn
- Weather: sunny, hazy, 29° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Walnut Tree Confluence
The story continues at 37°N 81°E.