04-Aug-2003 -- Continued from 28°N 115°E.
Monday 4 August 2003 – The confluence was 24.2 kilometres west of Yongxin. At 6:30 a.m. I caught a bus from Yongxin to Wenzhu, and got off at 8 a.m. with the confluence just 2.22 kilometres east-southeast. A bustling marketplace was already in full swing at my point of disembarkation. I left it and headed south over the river, then turned east and followed the railway tracks past the Wenzhu Railway Station (a freight station only, no passengers). Everyone was walking in the opposite direction, on their way to market. I got lots of quizzical looks.
As the confluence loomed closer, I crossed over the railway tracks and headed southeast through paddy fields and a small collection of farmhouses. Some women were washing clothes in a lily pond. I heard them saying that they thought I must be a reporter.
At 8:50 a.m. I found the confluence conveniently located at the corner of four rice paddies. No theatrics were necessary to get a perfect reading. The elevation was 141 metres, and the GPS accuracy was 9 metres. I took the customary north, south, east and west shots. As I was doing so, a peasant came along wearing a backpack of poison spray. He stood as straight as he could with his heavy backpack on, so that I could take his photo. He thought I was a reporter too.
Just visible on the left of the photo facing east is the edge of a farmhouse, which was the closest farmhouse to the confluence. I went and asked if I could take a photo of the general area from the roof, and permission was duly granted. They also knew I was a reporter. Word travels fast in a small village. Afterwards, they all posed out front of their farmhouse for a group photo, including the dog.
I was able to make my way back to the main road much more quickly than the way I'd come, because there was another smaller bridge across the river just a few hundred metres north of the confluence. On my way, I passed a boy who was catching fish by first electrocuting them using a pole he held in his left hand, powered by a battery pack he wore on his back, then scooping the stunned fish out of the water using a net he held in his right hand. I watched him for a while. He seemed to be enjoying a modicum of success.
I got back to the main road and waited for a bus back to Yongxin. One eventually came along at about 9:30 a.m. It was full of peasants, now returning home from market with their purchases. Most of them got off within a short distance.
Story continues at 27°N 115°E.