11-Apr-2006 -- 36N – 106E Ningxia (宁夏), China
Line Hunting Date: April 11, 2006
The Third Hunt in Ningxia
This trip started when we landed in Yinchuan (银川) airport and picked up by our local host. Our destination of the day was Guyuan (固原) city about 250 km away, near the southern end of Ningxia. One pleasant surprise was the fact that an expressway was completed in 2005 made a previous 6-7 hour journey now down to two and half hours. Suddenly, we found we had an extra half a day to our disposal.
We arrived Guyuan shortly around 1 pm and completed the local site visits by 4 pm. After work was done, we co-opted our local host to join us to hunt for this confluence point which located about 16 km GPS distance west of Guyuan city.
A major highway heading west brought us within 4 km from the confluence point before we have to turn to a secondary road. After passing through a couple abandoned villages we ran out of road in a village which put us 1.8 km away from the confluence point. We started the hike in the hilly area right before 5 pm.
The track to reach this confluence point required us to go up and down two hills about 250 meters of elevation from the valley. The confluence point located near the ridge of the 2nd hill. The hike was straight forward and pleasant. The only catch was the deep gully we have to cross which required some searching to find a feasible spot to climb down and up.
This area of Ningxia is known as the mountain areas with an average elevation of 2000 meters. Most the hills near the confluence point were cultivated but yield was unreliable due to rather limited rain fall. This is the typical landscape for this part of central China which can easily turn into desert after two three years of rain failure. We were coated with fine dust by the end of the hike which was a clear evidence of soil tuning into fine sand.
We returned to the village right before 7 pm just as sun started to set. The hike took bit longer because of the deep gully slowed us down. We made it back to Guyuan before dark and felt great after a couple hours of great hike and a pleasant hunt.
This confluence point located in Pian Chen (偏城) township of Xi Ji (西吉) county. The little village where we started the hunt by foot named Yang Jia Gou (羊家沟) had about 50 households (photo 10)
After this hunt, there is only one confluence point left in Ningxai that has not been visited. Our plan was to hunt for the remaining confluence point on our way back to Yinchuan.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge: 2 – a good hike except the deep gully required some negotiation (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery: 3– Hilly region of central China – dry and airy (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: 3 - rural Hui minority or Muslim community (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)