16-Jul-2012 -- This is the 7th out of 20 confluence points that I reached on a bicycle trip to the North-East of China. The narrative of the trip starts from 41°N 117°E.
On confluence morning, I naturally woke up at 3:50 AM (it was already daylight) and prepared instant sesame cereal in my hotel room since there is no breakfast offered at this time of the day. At 4:45 AM I hit the road in the town Tuliemaudu (土列毛都镇), a place which is about 80 km south of the confluence point. I actually hadn’t planned on visiting that CP, but some deviations that I made due to map errors had the effect that the point lay not far off from my way towards the north. However, there was no public road from Tuliemaudu, but I saw some tracks on Google Earth. So I tried to follow those tracks as good as I could. Certainly I had to ask several times for the route, since there are absolutely no signposts in the hinterland. This way, I climbed 2 mountain passes without staying on official roads. Only once I rode 10 km into a dead end and ended up at a house of two potato farmers. There, I had a pleasant chat whilst having tea and escaping a bit the midday heat. And another time the head of the district came by with his convoy of 5 fancy jeeps. They all stopped curiously asking all my whereabouts. I was donated lots of fresh drinking water and after a common photo session we all went on. Maybe I should point out at this time that these photo sessions occur at least 10 times a day. People see a foreigner (which is rarely the case in these areas) and then ask me whether they can take a picture with me using their mobile phones.
After I had crossed over the second pass, the landscape changed: no farming anymore but grassland and pasture. For getting to the confluence point, I had to leave the track towards the north and ride on top of another hill with a cairn. I abandoned my bike, climbed a hill and descended on the other side almost to the button until I had reached the exact zero location.
Although the point is located lower that its surroundings, there are quite some views into the open land. From the top of the hill I saw this herd of sheep.
I continued on hard-to-find tracks toward the north until I reached the town Alidearsumu (阿力德尔苏木) just before sunset.
CP visit details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 21 km
- Distance to a track: 400 m
- Distance to a footpath: 400 m
- Duration of the hike to reach the CP: 10 minutes
- Distance of bicycle parking: 500 m
- Distance to houses: 2000 m
- Time at the CP: 15:09 PM
- Measured height: 756 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 4 m
- Topography: hilly
- Vegetation: grass
- Weather: sunny, 32° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Sheep Mountain Confluence
Story continues at 47°N 121°E.