50 N – 2 E FRANCE
Line Hunting Date: March 16, 2006
The expansion of the Yip-Bannicq Group
This is the first line hunting trip for Vladimir and Catherine Strunski to the nearest confluence point from their home in Amiens, France. Catherine’s maiden name is Bannicq, an older sister of Florence, one of the founding members of the Yip-Bannicq group. After this hunt, the group now expanded to seven, provided Vladimir does not object. This hunt also marked the most northern confluence point and the first secondary point visited by the group thus far.
Five modes of transportation to reach this confluence point
Based on the Methods of Transportation now part of the DCP web page, this hunt did not break any ground in term of a new mode of transport, but did require five different modes to reach the point, if walking counted as one.
First mode – commercial jet Airbus 320 – 545 km from the CP
The trip started for Ray that day around 10 am at the Geneva airport with an Air France flight to the Charles De Gaulle airport in Roissy, France. The flight arrived on time at 11.15 am. The average speed was about 600 km/hr.
Second mode – TGV High-Speed train – 185 km from the CP
The second leg of the trip started at 12.18 pm at the train station in the Charles De Gaulle airport with a TGV train ride heading to Lille. The train seemed to go faster than usual, and a quick measure by GPS found out it was traveling right around 300 km/hr. Ray got off the train at the first stop, TGV-Haute Picardie after less than 25 minutes of travel time and was met by Vladimir at the train station.
Third mode – Passenger car – 82 KM from the CP
The drive to Vladimir and Catherine’s home in Amiens via expressway took a little over half an hour – Average speed 120 km/hr. We had a very good lunch – steak and pasta – in preparation for the bicycle ride to the confluence point. The plan was for Vladimir and Ray to go do the hunt by mountain bike, and Catherine would be on stand-by if they needed help, which they did.
Fourth mode – Mountain Bike – 25 km from the CP
By the time we got the bicycle set up and ready to roll it was almost 3.30 pm. There is a national highway heading straight to the confluence point, but Vladimir knew a better route next to the canal which pretty much was parallel to the main highway. The estimated distance for bicycling was a little over 30 km. The main drawback for this portion of the trip was a rather overcast and windy day with a temperature of about 1 to 2 degree C – chillier than we would have liked. After leaving the city proper of Amiens, we took a dirt road along the scenic canal for about 10 km. The second 10 km we took small country roads going from village to village – ideal biking route. The last part of the ride was on a main highway with some good hills. We reached the small town nearest to the confluence point – Longpre les Corps Saints – a little after 5 pm with 1.3 km further to go. The average speed for the bike ride was 20 km/hr. It turned out that this last part was also the steepest climb, and we found the confluence point 60 meters on the left side of the country road labeled as D70.
Fifth mode – Walking – 50 meters from the CP, also Visit #4 A
This confluence point is located in a newly planted field of spring wheat and is very near the intersection of two roads. We rode on the unplowed part of the field and put down the bikes with 50 meters to go. We reached the first all zeros point for Vladimir at 5.30 pm (average speed 4 km/hr). The overcast day made the scenery rather uninspiring. The strong wind in an open field made us feel colder by the minute. By the time we picked up the bikes, we knew we had to call Catherine to rescue us.
Visit # 4 B
We took a short ride into Longpre les Corps Saints and found a bar to warm up. Just as we finished two rounds of beer, Catherine showed up. After loading up the bikes on the car, we thought it would be good for Catherine to visit the confluence point also, especially it was only 1.3 km away. So we drove to the confluence point for the second time, hence visit #4 B. It was about 6.20 pm and there was still enough light to appreciate the place. In less than 5 minutes we completed the first confluence visit for Catherine.
Daurade fish for the celebration dinner
We made it back to Amiens before dark. The main course of the celebration dinner was a very nice fish Ray never had before – a “daurade”. It was a great day of biking and line hunting, even though we could have used a nicer weather. Because of the chilly wind the rescue mission had been necessary. Doing so gave Catherine the opportunity to visit her first confluence point. As usual, things tend to work out for the better.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge: 1 – An easy drive up and a short walk, biking made it more fun. (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery:2– wheat field on an overcast day (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: 2– typical northern French farming community (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)