20-Jul-2008 -- This is the twelfth 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 46°N 123°E on the day before, I stayed in Zhālàitè (扎赉特) for the night. On confluence day, I woke up at 4:20 am and left my hotel at 5:00 am. Again, this was too early to find a restaurant that served breakfast. I left Zhālàitè without having or taking any food. It later turned out to be a bad mistake: only after 50 km riding with an empty stomach I would find some restaurant.
Back to Zhālàitè (35 km beeline from CP): I had two options to reach a village Xìngshān (杏山), which is 13 km beeline from the confluence. One option was to take the proper roads which would mean a deviation of 35 km. The other option was to take a little boat across the Chao River and than find some tracks that would take me directly to Xìngshān. I asked a taxi driver who recommended the longer route. Anyway, I was tired of bad roads (see previous day). So I took the asphalt road and for the second part a concrete slab surface until I reached Xìngshān. This little town had one restaurant, where I wanted to have food quickly – as starved as I was. Normally, Chinese restaurants are quick. But this time, it took almost an hour. To make it worse: I had to stare all the time at a big buffet right next to my table that was being prepared for a wedding dinner.
From Xìngshān I continued towards Lóngjiāng (龙江) until I reached a village called Lǜsèhǎiyánglínchǎng (绿色海洋林场) (3 km from CP). I went through the village and continued on the road until I had a distance of 2.1 km. But there were no proper side roads to take. Finally, with a little overshooting I left the main road and took some tracks. Unfortunately, progress was slow and I got into a dead end with still 2 km beeline left on the GPS display. I was just planning on hiding my bike and walk the rest, when a boy with a bicycle appeared. He asked a lot of questions. I answered them, but abandoned the idea of leaving my bike behind. The search for other tracks was successful – after passing through a forest I could reach the confluence directly by bicycle.
But when I was pushing my bike through a loose forest with scattered trees – with only 175 m beeline left – a guy on a motor-bike suddenly came to me. He asked what I was doing here. I felt, that I should not mention the confluence project to him, because he might misunderstand its ideas. So I opted to tell him that I was just about to find a place for a little nap. This explanation wasn’t satisfying him. He asked what was in my bags. He was so suspicious that he begun to search through my bags. I let him do, in order to avoid annoying him and to ease the situation. Since he didn’t leave, I choose to leave the scene and went away (in the opposite direction of the confluence). Then, after he also left, I reached the confluence in a big circle.
The confluence was on a patch with scattered trees. The ground is covered with short cut grass – probably cut by grazing.
On my way back I saw some duck-farmers. As always, the way back was easy: I simply went back to Lǜsèhǎiyánglínchǎng where I reached the main road towards Lóngjiāng (龙江). In Lóngjiāng I saw my colleagues – surveyors – measuring a point with GPS. I stayed the night in the town Lóngjiāng (龙江).
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 2.1 km
- Distance to a road: 2.1 km
- Distance to a track: 255 m
- Distance of parking the bike: 0 m
- Distance to houses: 3 km
- Time for detour: 1:45 hours
- Time at the CP: 11:00 a.m.
- Riding time (distance) from Zhaqi: 4:16 hours (73.5 km)
- Measured height: 191 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 4 m
- Topography: flat, some slight hills in the area
- Vegetation: scattered trees, ground covered by lawn like grass (due to grazing).
- Weather: fine, 30° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In the eastern part of Hēilóngjiāng Province, in Lóngjiāng District, belongs to Jiangshan village. Located north of a village in a forest with scattered trees.
- Given Name: The Suspicious Motorbiker Confluence
Story continues at 48°N 123°E.