01-Jul-2008 -- Story continues from 34°N 113°E.
We retrace our steps from the previous confluence back to Rǔzhōu, then catch a bus NE to the provincial capital Zhèngzhōu (郑州). In Zhèngzhōu, we must take commuter bus no. K62 to the north bus station in order to get a bus NE to Yuányáng County (原阳县). The city traffic is abysmally slow. At the north bus station, we are able to get seats on a very clean, nice bus to Yuányáng, with a published departure time of 6:01 p.m.
We arrive in Yuányáng too late to attempt the confluence in the fading evening light, so we check into the nice Yuányáng Hotel (原阳宾馆). We wonder if this is the same hotel where Ray Yip and his party stayed when they visited this point in 2004. Later in the evening, we venture out for some dinner, and are treated to some spectacular lightning, accompanied by loud, rumbling thunder, but thankfully no rain.
The next morning is a different story, however. We open the curtains of our hotel room to reveal light rain - the first precipitation we've encountered on this trip since leaving Shēnzhèn (深圳) three days ago.
After our so-so complimentary breakfast, we walk back to the bus station to enquire about buses SE to Dàbīn Township (大宾乡). It turns out that this small county capital has two bus stations, and we are directed to the other, which luckily is just a short distance down the street on the opposite side.
We find a bus that will go via Dàbīn, and get off where the road crosses a relatively large canal at 35°0'57.0"N, 114°1'9.8"E. The confluence is 2.5 km SW. The canal has dirt roads running down both sides, and we proceed down the one on the left (south). The rain pretty much holds off, making for a pleasant walk, although we have to stop every so often to scrape the mud off our shoes. The surrounding fields are mostly wheat given over to corn, with the occasional small rice paddy here and there.
After following the dirt road beside the canal for about two kilometres, we turn south, following an irrigation ditch over a small bridge, then walk along a line of trees, and finally into the fields, where we find the confluence at the intersection of four fields: those to the west freshly ploughed, those to the east recently planted with corn. Once again, these are ex-wheat fields now being used to grow corn.
After we take the regulation north-south-east-west photos, I tell Ah Feng how, when I was living in Calgary in western Canada, I learned how to chew on the raw wheat grains to turn them into chewing gum. She finds a head of wheat that has escaped the harvest, and gives it a try.
About 110 m SE of the confluence is an embankment with a dirt road running along it, and we choose this way to leave. It takes us past a small mushroom farm, across a very muddy bridge at 35°0'15.4"N, 114°0'57.7"E, and through the village of Fèiqīnzhuāng (费亲庄村). This is a better approach to this confluence, and for the benefit of future visitors, the main road turn-off to Fèiqīnzhuāng is at 35°0'51.2"N, 114°1'19.3"E. Google Earth has extremely good imagery of this area.
Story continues at 35°N 112°E.