07-Apr-2004 -- 38 N – 117 E Hebei, China
Visit Date: April 7, 2004
This is the second of two confluence visits on April 7 by the Yip-Bannicq Group (Ray Yip and joined by Dr. Button Zhao and Mr. Zhang Baolin from Beijing).
The first confluence visit of the day had been 37N 117E in the Shangdong Province.
We had left the first point at 10.45 in the morning, with a timeline to reach Tianjin, which was 250km away, by 3 in the afternoon.. This meant we had almost 2 extra hours to hunt for 38N 117E.
Fortunately, the secondary road we had to take to return to the expressway was newly paved and widened. By the time we reached the Nan Pi County where the point was located, it was only a few minutes past noon. Enough time for lunch with the hope that, in this very flat part of China, we could locate the second point as easily as the first one earlier in the day.
We were not disappointed.
After a quick lunch, the GPS pretty much led us to the village that was 10 km east of the county seat without any detour – the smoothest drive ever to reach a point.
Another nicer surprise was that, 38N 117E was located inside a village. In truth we drove to the point and broke the Yip-Bannicq group’s record of 130 meters walk just set in the morning. The downside was that, we failed to get any exercise out of this hunt – which is always part of the fun.
The village’s name is Xi Kong and it has about 200 households. The point turned out to be located between two rolls of houses, near the southern end of the village. Nobody was home in the two houses nearest this confluence point. We had a nice little visit with an elderly gentleman one house down. He is 82 years old and remarkably fit.
In the nearby orchard the pear flowers were blossoming. It was a charming spring day in a delightful village.
It was almost 1.30 pm when we completed this pleasant visit. There was just enough time to make it to our appointed meeting in Tianjin by 3.00 pm. Just to be safe, we called ahead to push the meeting back a half hour.
The drive to Tianjin was straightforward. Right before we left the expressway to enter Tianjin, we passed 39N 117E, which was 650 meters to the left of the Tianjin-Shanghai expressway. Had the YB group not already visited this point in January, this could have easily be a day for 3 confluence points visits along the 117E line (actually 39N 117E can not be easily completed this time of the year – it is in the middle of a large fish pond).
We made to our meeting in Tianjin on time, and we left for Beijing at 4.30 pm. After the initial struggle of Tianjin rush hour traffic, we made it back to Beijing by 6.30 pm. A great day of mixing work and hunting.
Two records set for the YB Group – the shortest walk to the point (about 10 meters); and two line-hunting done in one day.