Thursday, February 3, 2011


Saturday, March 31, 2007 YANGTZE RIVER

This morning we were up early as we entered the first gorge at 7 am. We all grabbed one cup of coffee and then headed to the top deck to watch. Rather cool and very foggy but we could see enough to take some photos. After breakfast they loaded us into a smaller boat and we head into the smallest of the three gorges known as the Daning River. The height of the river will reach 175 meters and is now nearly 150 meters, but on the water line one can tell that it is lower now by about ten feet from what it had reached before the beginning of the current drought. We went under a very tall bridge that will be destroyed in the next two years as it is too low for the final level of 175 meters. Before they started this project the bridge was twice as high; we were shown photos of the bridge before the Dam Project began. These photos showed us that this area was rather shallow and river rafting was a popular sport in this area. We spent at least an hour traveling upstream viewing the sights that included “hanging coffins”. Ancient burial customs in this area was to place the coffin in a cave as high up on the mountain as possible to place them closer to the spirits (or whatever they believed was the final resting place).

It was almost like Disneyland as they have hired people to play music at one spot and other area had a group of formally dressed people singing folk songs to us. Both of these occurred after we transferred to an even smaller boat for the final stretch of the river. We also noticed that along the bank were “rescue” people; our guide said that they had radios that could let the main boat know if we had problems and needed help.

Back the same way….still foggy but a bit brighter than earlier. We arrived back on the main cruise ship in time for lunch and another stab at the Internet. We stepped out on the forward deck to take photos of the “Goddess Statute” rock formation; the wind from the speed of the boat made our hair go wild but we stood out there anyway snapping away. We have continued down the main gorge heading towards Maoping where we will dock overnight. Tomorrow we leave the ship after breakfast, go by boat over to see the Three Gorge River Dam Project and then get on the bus for a six hour trip to Wuhan. Right now I’m typing as I enjoy the view from my balcony off the room. Birgitte and Christa have been helping me with information as they sit next door on their balcony; we’re all drinking our beer that we purchased at the supermarket before boarding the ship.

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