13-Oct-2004 -- This is the 27th out of 29 confluence visits on our tour from Germany to China, the story continues from 27N 105E.
On this day I started in the district town Weining about 30 km east of the confluence. When I left the hotel on my bicycle it had just stopped raining, but it still was a nasty humid and cold day. Actually a day to stay inside as much as possible. Well, I did want to complete my series of confluence visits and I didn't have time to wait for another day.
The road between Weining and Zhaotong (in Yunnan province) is under construction right now. The road conditions were extremely rough with muddy holes and sharp rocks. At 10:30 a.m. I reached the village Guangfengmei at a distance of 3.2 km from the confluence point. I continued riding on the main road until I found a turnoff at a remaining distance of 2.1 km. This track had a surface of deep mud due to the heavy rain that had come down in the morning. I soon got completely dirty by draggling my bike through the mud. Some locals passed me, but they didn't even notice me as a foreigner, because of the fog being very dense. At a distance of 1 km I had to climb a hill. Even though it wasn't that steep, I just couldn't make it. The reason was that I - almost like Sisyphus - always slid down after I did some steps forward. Now it was time to hide my bike behind some bushes. Without it I managed to climb that muddy hill and continued on different paths. At a distance of 800 m I came through a small deserted village. I didn't meet anybody there, probably due to the cold foggy weather. I continued the hike across harvested corn fields and then through a little forest with tiny conifers. I reached the confluence directly on a small footpath. Due to the bad weather conditions it wasn't easy to take pictures of the area. All I could do was to point the camera down and take some close-up views of the surroundings (photos #1-#5).
The way back was also very unpleasant. It made me doubt if these visits do make sense at all. I could have had a much nicer day without this CP-visit. But no, I had an inner feeling of a positive ego which was worth the suffering.
Back to the road I decided to take a bus and get out of the highlands as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the first bus would come three hours later (in order not to cool down I rode my bike all the time). I had to change another bus at the border to Yunnan in a place called Zhongshui. This town has a Muslim population and was worth a visit. I reached the city of Zhaotong in the evening and was lucky to catch a train right away to Chengdu, where I met my longtime friend Peter.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 11:45 a.m.
- Duration: 2 h (until I was back on my route)
- Distance of bike parking: 1050 m
- GPS height: 2237 m
- Description: In the highlands of Guizhou Province, surrounded by rhododendron and low pine trees. On a hill. Some grazed meadows (almost cut like lawns), on a footpath, an overhead power line nearby.
- Given Name: The Befogged Mud Confluence
Story continues at 30N 103E.