15-Jul-2008 -- Story continues from 35°N 117°E.
On our way back to Jísuǒ in the minivan, the sky turns black, the heavens open up, and it starts absolutely bucketing down! We get a bus back to Téngzhōu, however it goes to a different bus station - not the main north bus station near our hotel - so we need to take a taxi across town. But with the rain relentlessly pouring down, the streets have all turned to rivers, and our taxi driver has to make a number of u-turns, trying various different alternatives, before we eventually find a still navigable, rather circuitous, route back to our hotel.
Back in the relative comfort of the hotel - at least it's dry - we collect our belongings, and Ah Feng changes out of her saturated pants. We then take another taxi to the main bus station, where we board a bus SE to the municipal capital Zǎozhuāng City (枣庄市).
By the time we arrive in Zǎozhuāng, the rain has all but stopped, so we elect to press on to the next confluence, and catch the 12:20 p.m. bus east to Cāngshān County (苍山县). We disembark at an intersection just north of town, where we wait for a bus heading north towards Liújǐng Township (流井乡).
It's not long before such a bus arrives. We take it as far as 34°59'44.8"N, 118°0'58.5"E, where we get off at the start of a side road. There is a village here called Xiǎoguānzhuāng (小官庄村). We are now 1.55 km SE of the confluence.
It's a very pleasant walk up the side road, with plenty to see and photograph, such as this old man smoking a long pipe. He probably thinks we're pretty interesting too! What is most striking about this area is the abundance of stone, which is used for all manner of things, such as millstones (we pass several), stone arch bridges, and of course houses, walls, and the like. Some of the more modern stone houses here look just like the 100-year-old stone houses we've seen in Australia, in Hobart's inner city suburb of Battery Point.
When we reach Xīnánshào Village (西南哨村), with the confluence 205 m SW, we leave the road, and make our way along paths between fields to the point, which is located amongst bean and corn plants. A nearby farmer, wearing a poison-spraying backpack, takes an interest in what we're doing. We take the requisite photos of the GPS, and the views to the north, south, east and west.
Story continues at 36°N 118°E.