11-Jul-2005 -- 32 N – 116 E Anhui (安徽), China
Visit Date: July 11, 2005
This is by far the wettest line-hunting trip we have done so far, mostly during pouring rain. It is the 10th confluence point that the Y-B Group has visited in Anhui.
The trip started around 10.30 am at the Hefei airport, when Lou Jue picked up Ray who just came in from Beijing. The destination of the day was Lixin County in Northern Anhui, about 250 km away (near
33N 116E). The hunt for 32N-116E, in theory, would bring about 20 km of detour and add one hour to the trip at most. As usual, theory often does not fit with reality.
Around noon time, we reached Liu An City, the capital of the prefecture where this particular confluence was located. Lou Jue made the mistake of calling the local health officials and this turned an otherwise simple lunch into a banquet lasting one hour and a half.
After the heavy duty lunch and many rounds of toast, two of the Liu An Health officials joined the hunting party, to make sure we could find our way to the township where the confluence point was located. Shortly after we hit the road, a drizzle started.
When we reached a village about a 2.4 straight-line distance from the point, the road was so muddy that our four-wheel drive jeep almost got stuck. We decided to abandon the car and shoes and went to the point.
Shortly after we started on the muddy path, the rain started to intensify. We had to seek refuge in a farm house about 1.5 km away from the point.
As luck has it, the two prefecture officials with us also informed the county officials that we were in their areas for “some inspection”, such they were waiting for us at the other end of the road which was not too muddy to pass. Thanks to the wonderful cell phone coverage in rural China, we were able to call those folks to rescue us.
The two county officials were able to guide our car to the farm house where we were held up for over an hour with no sign of rain to abate. Best of all, our rescuers showed up with a good supply of umbrellas.
After we met up with the rescue team, we continued the hunt by car. In less than 15 minutes after passing through two more villages we found a small pathway which was 250 meters from the confluence point. Rain was still coming down but not as hard, and we walked toward the point with umbrellas. By then, the hunting party had grown to 7.
This particular confluence point is located about 200 meters from the edge of a village in the middle of a rice paddy. It just so happens that there was a tiny jetty that brought us to within 2 meters from the ground zero. Dr. Song, our rescuer, took the extra few steps into the rice paddy and obtained the all zeros reading.
Needless to say, we were all very happy to reach the point, since most of us were wet and muddy. Most first-time hunters in our party had never heard about this DCP enterprise until this very wet afternoon.
On our way out, Dr Song of the Hou Qiu county insisted that we stayed for dinner. Even though we were hours behind, it was a difficult thing to refuse given he was the one who had rescued us from the pouring rain when we were stranded at the farm house. Refusing his hospitality would have been an insult.
We drove to a nearby township, and had a big dinner and, again, many rounds of toast. By the time we departed heading for Lixin, it was 6.30 pm, about 5 hours behind schedule.
We reached Lixin by 8.30 pm in the dark and still felt full from the two big meals.
The appropriate name for this confluence point is “Barefoot Doctor Point”, given the fact all hunters were doctors and literally reached the CP barefooted. (Note – Barefoot doctor is a famous term during the Culture Revolution era when Mao deployed thousands minimally trained health workers to the countryside to provide basic medical and public health service).
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge: 3– the pouring rain and muddy road made it a challenge. On a sunny day when the road is dry it would be an easy hunt (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery: 2– Typical rural central China area (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: 2– rural agriculture community of central Anhui (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)