30-Aug-2005 -- 44N – 85E Xinjiang (新疆), China
Visit Date: August 30, 2005
This is the 2nd line hunting as part of our 2 days car trip from Urumqi to Wusu. We visited 44N 86E on our way in the day before. We concluded our business with Wusu officials at 11 am, and hit the road.
Instead of taking the expressway, again we took an unpaved road known as the “Defense” highway which winds through the foothills of Tianshen Mountain range and pretty much follows the 44N parallel.
We traveled about halfway on this rather remote highway, and it is truly a million-dollar highway in term of scenery – hills, mountains, and grassland on the plateau. It is such a remote highway, only 3-4 villages on the road side for over 100 km of drive, and not one place we can stop for lunch.
This particular confluence point located about 60 km from Wusu and only 800 meters from the Defense highway in a grassy valley.
To our amazement, there was a small ranch near the end of valley, and the confluence point actually located on the ranch, about 5 meters short from the cow shed. There were no households from the previous 10 km drive, yet the CP we were hunting for actually within the compound of a lone Kazak family.
The main house located about 30 meters from the CP, and the lady of the house and her young son were home. Unfortunately, none of us can speak Kazak to learn a bit about what life is like on a confluence point that is far away from civilization.
After the fun visit to our 2nd CP of this trip, we continued for another 50 km on the Defense highway. Before we turn north to the expressway, we headed up a valley south and visited an area known for hot springs. We manage to find one inn open and had a late lunch at 5.30 pm.
The inn keepers convinced us to take a soak at the hot spring bath which they developed with a unique feature – the water taste like eggs! It was hard to turn down such hospitality, and we had a great soak in a little cave. The most interesting part was the facts that, the spring water indeed tasted like egg!! Of course, there were great claims that this water can cure almost all disease, and we were given 3 gallon of the egg-tasting water to share with our loved ones.
We made it back to Urumqi at 10.30 pm. What a great day!
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge: 2– a remote location but near a serviceable highway (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery: 4– hilly areas with a mixture of small mountains and plateaus in between (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: not applicable – 3 Kazak nomad settlement (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)