28-Jun-2014 -- My three-year-old son Andy had been eagerly anticipating this trip for more than six months. During that time, he talked about Liáoníng (辽宁省) constantly, and even built bridges to North Korea with his Lego! A warm-up confluence visit at 19°N 99°E in Thailand a few weeks before only served to whet his appetite more.
Finally departure day arrived, and we left home on Lamma Island at midday, taking the ferry to Central. It was a hot, sunny, and unusually clear day for Hong Kong, with a top temperature of 33°C. Hats, sunglasses, and drinking water were essentials.
Arriving in Central, we walked the short distance to the Shun Tak Centre in Sheung Wan, where we checked in for our flight to Shĕnyáng (沈阳市), then caught the bus to the Shēnzhèn (深圳市) airport. As we went through customs, the young girl on the immigration desk on the mainland Chinese side looked at me intently, then at my passport, repeating this several times before finally making the unusual request to see my Hong Kong ID card. She obviously wasn't happy with this photo identification either, because she then asked us to wait while she sought a second opinion. Finally we were waved through.
On the second half of the journey to the airport, Andy said "I like this bus. Can we go to Liáoníng again?" His comical remarks were to keep both Peter and me entertained throughout the following week.
Our flight left on time (for a change). Peter was waiting for us in Shĕnyáng, having flown in from his home in Chéngdū (成都市) earlier that day. He had organised a rental car for us, and the rental company representative accompanied us to the basement car park where he fitted the car out with a child seat for Andy. Peter then drove us to the hotel he'd arranged for our first night in Liáoníng.
We awoke the following morning to light rain, however this didn't stop us from enjoying a traditional breakfast outdoors with the locals, consisting of deep-fried breadsticks (油条), pies (馅饼) and soy milk (豆浆).
The rain cleared up on the way to the confluence, although it remained overcast. After exiting the expressway at Căohékŏu (草河口村), we were held up for a short while as we waited at a railway crossing for two trains to pass.
This confluence was a very easy roadside point. We parked a few metres away, then scrambled over the verge of the road to the point, located on the edge of a cornfield. (Cornfields were going to feature a lot over the coming week.) We photographed the GPS, then the views to the north, south, east and west, and finished off with a photo of the three of us on the point.
Story continues at 40°N 124°E.