10-Jul-2015 -- This is the fourth 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 37°N 81°E
In the morning of confluence day, took a bus from Qiěmò (且末) to the town Ruòqiāng (若羌), which is located 15 km from the confluence point as the crows fly. In the afternoon, when the heat started to become bearable, I set off to the confluence by bicycle. I rode on the main highway until I had reached the minimal distance to the CP (4.22 km) and turned into a sandy track that was leading further towards my goal. At a distance of 1.6 km, I abandoned my bike and started hiking. The area around the confluence must have been an irrigated plantation some time ago. There are several tracks and abandoned fields in the otherwise flat desert. I could walk along those tracks up to a distance of 180 m. The remaining distance I covered by walking on a harsh, salty crust. There are 3 little hills in the otherwise flat area. Interestingly, the confluence is located right on top of one of these hills.
Just when I had left the confluence point and had reached the track again, I was followed by a vehicle! I was scared, because I was in the middle of the desert and didn’t expect anyone. I expected that they would interrogate me and when I would not be able to give a reasonable answer, that I could be in trouble. However, when they passed me, they greeted friendly, asked if I was all right and when I said yes, they turned around and left the site. An hour later, I was back to Ruòqiāng. There, I had the famous Plov (抓饭, zhuāfàn).
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to the road: 4220 m
- Distance to a track: 180 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 1600 m
- Time to reach the CP from the road: 40 min
- Time at the CP: 6:11 PM
- Measured height: 876 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 5 m
- Topography: flat
- Vegetation: scattered low bushes, otherwise barren soil
- Weather: clear sky, 33° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Hill Coincidence Confluence
The story continues at 38°N 91°E.