20-Sep-2006 -- This is the 12th confluence visit on a bicycle trip from China to Central Asia. The story starts from 32°N 107°E.
After an unsuccessful visit of 45°N 81°E two days earlier, we decided to try this confluence which is only 10 km beeline from the town Bole (博乐) where we had spent the night.
It was a pleasant sunny day and cycling to the point was enjoyable. The area is flat, but from Bole it is a constant climb uphill towards the confluence. At a distance of 5 km we left the main road and continued riding along a perpendicular network of farmer’s tracks between colourful carnation fields.
Soon we reached the confluence which lay – as expected – in a harvested crop field. As a result of a rainstorm that had occurred day before, the soil was washed away by erosion and flooding. At the confluence, little canyons filled with stones had caused a major damage to the fields.
After documenting the confluence, we kept on riding upwards towards northern direction. Our goal was the famous Guàishítóu (怪石头) which means „bizarre stones”. It is an gorgeous attraction at an elevation of 1200 m very close to the Kazakh border. You can see a complete zoo: with some imagination, it is possible to identify many stones as animals.
We wanted to coast down to the nearby border crossing at Alashankou (阿拉山口) but due to the proximity of the border and the resulting sensitiveness we were not allowed to follow that way. We had to go all the way back to Bole, spent another night there and ride another 100 km the next day until we could reach the border post at Alashankou.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 11:39 a.m.
- Time to reach the CP from the road: 1 hour
- Distance to a track: 15 m
- Distance to a road: 5 km
- Distance of bicycle parking: 15 m
- Distance to houses: ca. 3 km
- Topography: flat, but steep grade, high mountains in the North
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0.00 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 5 m
- GPS height: 670 m
- Vegetation: harvested crop fields all around, some poplar avenues along the tracks.
- Weather: sunny (20° felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In Western Xingjiang Province, near the district town Bole. Easily accessible. Great views to the snow covered mountains in the North.
- Given Name: The Bizarre Stones Confluence
Story continues at 46°N 81°E.