08-Jan-2014 -- This is the third out of 5 reports reaching or attempting confluence points in Myanmar. The story starts from 14°N 99°E. The previous report is 15°N 98°E
I started cycling from the city center of Yangon at 6:10 AM while it was still dark. The advantages of such an early start were cool temperature and low traffic. As you can read, it took the previous visitors 2 hours by taxi whereas it took me only 1 hour by bicycle from the center of Yangon to get to the confluence area.
On a narrow road with concrete slabs I reached the village Htantabin (2 km from the CP). From the satellite image I concluded that the approach from Htantabin (i.e. from the north) would be preferable than hiking directly cross-country from the concrete slabs road. There was another village very close to the CP and I predicted that it must be linked with Htantabin. It turned out that I was not wrong, but the “link” consisted of a muddy footpath with some
trunk bridges that were challenging to cross while carrying a bicycle. However, I managed to get over those bridges without falling into the deep mud. The infrastructure of the second village was inexistent. Even though it was dry season, the streets were nothing else than muddy footpaths. During the raining season one would probably need a boat to get through – the stilts on which every house is built on refer to frequent occurrence of floodwaters.
At a distance of 170 m, I had reached the southern edge of the village. To my surprise, the nearest building to the confluence point (not mentioned in previous reports) was a temple (150 m). I abandoned my bicycle and started walking between banana plantations. Soon I was stopped by a deep water channel. I hesitated to cross it, such that some farmers who had been following me could reach me. First, I was scared because I hadn’t noticed them coming. But it turned out that they were absolutely helpful. Without a common language, my desire to cross the water channel was obvious. The farmers took me at their hands and guided me to a shallow passage where we could safely cross the channel.
Together we reached the confluence point (after bush bashing through some thickets). At a distance of 5 m, I took the pictures. Any further approach would have ended in a deep swamp. Reaching the confluence together with the farmers was a unique experience for me, because they had no distrust in me. Normally I have to explain the situation first before I can continue. In this case I got help right away.
After returning to my bicycle, I was invited to visit the temple. Here I was treated as a honoured guest with tea and biscuits.
At 11:30 AM I was back to my hotel room.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to the road: 2 km
- Time at the CP: 9:00 AM
- Distance of bicycle parking: 150 m
- Time to reach the CP from Yangon: 2:50 hours
- Measured height: -4 m (surely above zero in reality)
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 5 m
- Position accuracy: 6 m
- Topography: flat
- Vegetation: banana trees, bamboo, grass
- Weather: sunny, 27° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Trusting Farmers Confluence
The story continues at 21°N 95°E.
Further pictures of our bicycle trip can be found here.