07-Apr-2004 -- 37 N – 117 E Shangdong, China
Visit Date: April 7, 2004
This is the first confluence point visit of the Shangdong Province completed by the Yip-Bannicq Group - only Ray Yip of the group being present, joined by Dr. Button Zhao and Mr. Zhang Baolin from Beijing.
We had had a whole-day meeting at Jinan City, the capital of the Shangdong Province the previous day and we were planning to return to Beijing by car with a stop in Tianjin for another short meeting.
As it turned out, the 300 km drive from Jinan to Tianjin was pretty much zigzagging along the longitude 117 E. We knew, if all went well, we would have enough time on the way to visit one of the two confluence points (37N 117E or 38N 117E) and still make our appointment in Tianjin, which was where 39N 117E was located (previously visited by the YB group in January).
We left Jinan City by 8.30 that morning with our eye set on 37N 117E, which was about 35 km north of the city, and 20 km east of the expressway we would be traveling on. Leaving Jinan turned out to be the hardest part of the trip, it took almost one hour due to traffic jams resulting from a closing of a main road.
This part of Shangdong is a flat and relatively densely populated farming area with very good coverage of roads. Once we left Jinan, it took us 45 minutes to come to a township, which was within 5 km to the point.
We pretty much found the right roads leading to the nearest village from the point and parked at the end of the village - 130 meters from 37N 117N. A new record for the shortest walking distance to the point for the Yip-Bannicq group! Too bad Sierra was not with us after she did the one with the longest walk - 7 km of mountain trail two weeks ago for 41N 112E in Inner Mongolia.
The point was located in the middle of a field planted with spring wheat. There was a grave within 10 meters of the confluence point, and we speculated it was very good “Feng-Shui” – a Chinese belief that goof Feng-Shui will bring prosperity to the family based on the placement of the house or grave in relationship to the lay of the land.
A quick stop at the village to learn that its name was Ha-Ba-Gao village, and it was part of the Bao-Guang-Tong Township, 2 km away.
It was 10.45 in the morning when we completed our survey of 37N-117E, earlier than we had anticipated. Our appointment in Tianjin was set at 3 in the afternoon 250 km away. Maybe if we skipped lunch, we would time to hunt for 38N 117E, which was exactly halfway.
Off we went.