02-Sep-2005 -- 25N – 102E Yunnan (云南), China
Visit Date: September 2, 2005
This is the 1st successful line-hunting trip in Yunnan for the Y-B Group, but it was a solo hunt – only Ray. A year ago, together with Tara, we came within 5 km of 27N 100E but did not come close.
Taken an earlier flight to Kumming for a meeting starting next day provided a 5 hours window to dash to the second closest confluence point from the capital – about 70 km straight-line distance.
The trip started near noon in front of the hotel after agreed with a taxi driver to go for the hunt for 250 Yuan (US $30) for an estimated 200 km of driving
According to the map, this confluence is located near a village named Du-Wa-Fang right next to the expressway going to western Yunnan. It took just about an hour to get to the nearest point (2.4 km) on the expressway. However, the two nearest expressway exit were 8 and 14 km from the village. Given it is a mountainous area, nobody at the expressway exit thought it would be easy to find the small road to go to the village. The most knowledgeable person recommended that the best way is to stop on the expressway and hike over to the village.
After turning back toward the confluence point, we found a suitable spot to park the taxi on the shoulder of the expressway. The starting point was 2.5 km straight-line to the CP. By than it was almost 2 pm, and driver indicated that the most he would wait for 2 hours and demanded payment.
The hike to the CP turned out to be rather strenuous – a total of three hills to climb up and down. The first hill was about 200 meters elevation from the expressway, the 2nd hill was over 250 meters of raise. At end of 2nd hill there was still more than 1.5 km to go. Fortunately, there was a dirt road in the valley heading the right direction until 350 meters from CP where the 3rd hill must be climbed.
It took almost an hour and incredible amount of sweat to reach the vicinity of the CP. It is a rather barren red earth hill with considerable erosion, and the loose dirt on the slope made it hard to gain adequate traction to reach to the true zero points.
The return hike to the expressway seemed harder due to the extreme thirst. Reaching the taxi was an equally great feeling as reaching the confluence point. The round trip hike was 5 minutes short of 2 hours!
At first rest stop, several bottles of water and ice tea were downed within minutes. It was hard to imagine that water can taste so good.
One valuable lesson is that, in the hilly areas, the actual walking distance is at least twice the GPS measured distance. More importantly, never go on a 2 hour hunt in a hilly area on a humid day without water.
All in all, this was a good hunt, especially from an exercise point of view. When returned to the hotel in Kumming, it was 5 and half hours since we started, and taxi meters read 207 km. In appreciation for the drivers willingness to stop and wait by the expressway, given it was probably not a legal thing to do ( at least not legal in most other countries), 100 extra Yuan was rewarded.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge: 4 – a rather strenuous hike across three hills with limited trails (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery: 3– green hills and red hills (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: not applicable – no time to check out the local villages or talk to anybody (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)