13-Jul-2006 -- 40N – 109E Inner Mongolia (内蒙古), China
Line Hunting Date: July 13, 2006
The 9th confluence point of the Heart-of-China Expedition
This point was visited on the morning of day 13 of our expedition. The day started at Er Tou Ke Qi (鄂托克旗) where we hunted the nearby confluence point - 39N 108E - the previous evening. We continued on National Highway 109 toward east, and knowing this particular point situated about 8 km north of the highway after about 100 km of driving.
We reached the township nearest to the confluence point with exactly 8.5 km GPS distance to the north. A paved road heading north at the edge of the town seem to be the best option. The paved road started to head the wrong direction after 5-6 km. It was clear that the confluence point now about 5 km to our west so we found a dirt road heading west and ventured into the desert.
The condition of this dirt track tested our Land Cruiser to the limit. After many twists and turns, to our amazement that this dirt track actually brought us within 450 meters from the confluence point, next to a lone house truly in the middle of nowhere. A couple fellows came out of the house and gave us the look of which planet we came from?(Photo 10)
The final approach to the confluence point was an easy walk across sand dunes with many wild flowers. The all zeros point located near the top of a gentle dune. This was the right amount of exercise for Oreo, the 13 year old line hunting dog.
Turned out that the two fellows we met are brothers and they lived there with their 80 year mother who was quite ill. Raising sheep is Their main livelihood. We left them a bottle of Ningxia red wine which we got as a present earlier.
The brothers gave us direction for a more straight route to Highway 109 which took less than half the time than the way we came in. We made to Er Er Dou Si (鄂尔多斯), the capital of the prefecture where this confluence located, shortly after noon time. After a short stop at a famous sand dune, we made it to Hohhot (呼尔浩特), the capital of Inner Mongolia by late afternoon where we were expected for a big dinner party.
Rating of this hunt :
Degree of Challenge:
3 – In the middle of a true desert with tracks suitable for tractors or four wheel drive jeep (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
2 – mixed desert and grassland (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
2 – Very isolated villages and households in environment must be marginal for living (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)