13-Jul-2015 -- This is the fifth out of 17 reports of confluence visits while cycling from Kashgar (喀什) to Xī'ān (西安). I cycled through the Chinese provinces of Xīnjiāng, Qīnghǎi, Gānsù, and Shǎnxī, 3600 km in 25 days. The story starts from 39°N 76°E. The previous report is 39°N 88°E
I met 3 English cyclists Oli, Charlie, and Dan who had started cycling 3 month earlier in England and were heading to their final goal Hong Kong. Since we shared the same route, we cycled together for about a week. But the four of us never rode altogether. According to the speed, need of sleep or other happenings, someone was ahead or behind.
Three of us started in the morning from the town Huātǔgōu (花土沟镇). After riding about one hour (20 km), we reached the turnoff from the main road to the confluence. It was still 12.7 km to go as the crows fly, but I had researched the route beforehand and knew that it was possible to ride the bike within a couple hundred meters to the confluence. But the road was closed with a barrier. My cycling friends suggested that we should go and ask whether we could pass the checkpoint. But I discouraged them. From my experience, I knew that we would very unlikely get approval, but instead a lot of trouble. The general area seems to be closed to foreigners (apart from the main road) and behind the barrier is an oil field with several hundreds of oil pumps – a very sensitive industry.
So, I gave up the idea of visiting this confluence and we went further east with heavy winds (first tailwind but later on headwind). Since there was no town for about 400 km, we camped out for the night.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to the road: 12700 m
- Distance to a track: 400 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 12700 m
- Time to reach the CP from the road: not applicable
- Time at the nearest point to the CP: 9 AM
- Measured height: 2880 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 12700 m
- Position accuracy: 3 m
- Topography: slightly inclined but flat terrain
- Vegetation: none
- Weather: clear sky, 26° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Oilfield Barrier Confluence
The story continues at 38°N 92°E.