19-Jul-2008 -- This is the eleventh out of 23 confluences that I visited on my bicycle trip to the North-East of China. The story starts from 40°N 117°E.
After visiting 45°N 123°E at the previous day I stayed in Táonán (桃南) for the night. On confluence day, I woke up at 3:30 am and left the hotel at 4:20 am. As always, I headed further north. This time I rode on a new highway until I came to the city of Baicheng. In the city I had a really big breakfast consisting of 11 Baozi (dumplings). Note that in the north of China all dished tend to be huge.
From Baicheng I continued to Zhenlai town. On a small asphalted road I could reach a village called Qiándàgǎngtún (前大岗屯), which is less than 2 km from the confluence. Here I bought a watermelon in order to have it after a successful confluence hunt. The day was extremely hot and drying out my body. I left the village on the asphalted road and soon reached an intersection where I turned on a concrete slab road. This way I could approach the confluence up to a distance of 600 m. The final approach was not very difficult along farm tracks. First I determined the confluence to be in a cornfield again. But it turned out to be located on a beautiful piece of heath land. Not far from the confluence point, some windmills for power generation can be seen.
I rewarded myself with the long awaited watermelon. The actual adventure began after the visit: I did not want to ride back 20 km to Zhenlai and then take the main road. Instead I tried to short cut directly to Zhālàitè (扎赉特). So, I went further on the road towards the north. After only 6 km of a pleasant ride on nice surfaces, an 80-km-long stretch of extremely bad tracks begun. These were partially under construction, partially non-existent. Once, I slipped in a puddle and lost control of my bike. I landed in the ditch. Luckily, I and the bike were ok. The last parts of this stretch were endless. Not only the road conditions but also finding the right tracks was a challenge for me. I guess that I asked 30 times for directions.
However, after cycling 205 km I reached my place for the night in the last twilight. In most maps this place is written as Zhālàitè (扎赉特), but local people call it Zhaqi. I had – as usual – a big dinner and went to bed early in order to be ready for another big biking day.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 1.7 km
- Distance to a road: 600 m
- Distance to a track: 10 m
- Distance of parking the bike: 0 m
- Distance to houses: 1 km
- Time for detour: 50 min
- Time at the CP: 11:23 a.m.
- Riding time (distance) from Táonán: 5:09 hours (103.1 km)
- Measured height: 154 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 4 m
- Topography: flat
- Vegetation: heath, herbs, clover, grass scattered poplar trees, corn field nearby.
- Weather: fine, 32° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In the north-east part of Jilin Province, in Zhenlai District, belongs to Jianping village. Located on fallow land, just 25 m from a corn field.
- Given Name: The Heath and Windmill Confluence
Story continues at 47°N 123°E.