Thursday, January 17, 2008
Trip Day 6 - Down the Yanze to the Three Gorges Project (TGP) dam and on to Wuhan
A leisurely start to the day at 7:30am. The boat started and left it's night mooring to take us a little further down river.
This morning's excursion to a spring, and we travel by small boat - two abreast and we all have to wear life vest.
We have a brief 'dragon boat' race where we all have to paddle, but no-one tries very hard or pays any attention to the drum up front. The motors are turned back on and we continue up a narrow gorge to a floating pontoon. We then walk along a very long pontoon up a side gorge to some step which rise a couple of hundred feet up the cliff side to a precarious walkway sticking out from the cliff side which double back along the way we came. I suspect that prior to the flooding the step/walkway went the whole length of the narrow gorge, up one side and back the other.
We finally passed an unimpressive spring and continued back to the mooring. Another musical story was put on for the tourists, then back to the boats. It was an enjoyable walk in the fresh air with great scenery.
When back to the bid boat we continue down river for the last stretch to the dam wall. We we are herded into buses for a two hour tour of one of china's proudest constructions. It is not the longest - that is Aswan, it is nor the highest - I gather the Hoover wins there, but it does have the most concrete!
We continue by bus to Yichang, then transfer to another bus to Wuhan. A number of our fellow travelers from the cruise boat were continuing on and we all traveled together.
We stopped on the way out of town for dinner (4:30) but didn't eat as the only choices were greasy and looked full of chili. We snacked on the last of our fruit and biscuits. The bus was delayed because a group of passengers only decided to eat at the last minute, then wandered out when they were ready, not the slightest bit concerned that the bus was waiting and the driver shouting at them.
The next entertainment was a couple having a domestic - she was standing up and screeching at him. It only stopped when a guy in another seat offered to change seats with her. I don't know what he did but she was royally pissed.
The trip to Wuhan was 4 hrs, then the bus dropped everyone at their hotels. As we were the last drop-off, this added another hour. It was now nearly 11pm.
There was some confusion when we went to check in - phone calls were made and lots of nervous giggling. I suspect the travel company in Chungqing did not send the booking through. We were eventually given two rooms and all sorted fairly quickly.
So we passed the new year asleep in a three star hotel in an industrial city on the Yangtze in the middle of China.