Two Weeks in China - 2017 travel blog

Small boats belly up to our cruise ship at Badong to take...

We pull away from a not particularly attractive Badong in our small...

Before the Changjiang bridge (background) was built in 2004 people used to...

We head up Shennong Stream, which is on the border between Wu...

Cruising along Xiling Gorge

We're lucky to be here on such a clear day

Yrs truly and B - up Shennong Stream without a paddle

Bill and Marylyn, our travel companions from Gabriola

Along Xiling Gorge

At 49 kms long, Xiling Gorge is the longest of the Three...

Swallow Cave, home to thousands of gold-feathered swallows, is about 8km deep...

Sooner or later in a Lee blog....... this has to be the...

We transferred from the excursion boat to shallow draft wooden 'peapod' boats

Bruce is NOT missing in action at this point - he IS...

The peapod boats hold 10 passengers and are crewed by 5 Tujia...

Boat pulling demo

Trackers used to haul the boats over the shallows. They demonstrated running...

Trackers used to work in the buff, to save their clothes, but...

Didn't take long before the rowdies in our boat were encouraging a...

The crew of a nearby boat enthusiastically took up the challenge

And soon our shallow draft boats loaded with 15 people were rocking...

We won!

Our lovely Tujia guide, Linda, sang a lovely, gentle song for us

Returning to our excursion boat

The boats are a bit pea-pod like, I guess......

Beautiful reflections in the water

Xiling Gorge is famous for its ancient 'hanging coffins' on cliffs

That coffin has been there going on 2,000 yrs. It's made with...

And back to our cruise ship at Badong


We woke up this morning to find our travelling bedroom was somewhere else - it was docked at Badong to be precise. It's not particularly picturesque but the huge collection of large buildings, built close to and above the water's edge, are quite new. There is some local pride here in the fact that Badong is a 'famous tourism city', full of scenic nature spots.

We disembarked 'President No. 7' on to a smaller tour boat for a shore excursion to Shennong Stream via Xiling Gorge. Before the construction of the Three Gorges Dam there were many beaches and rocky shallows through here but now, of course, it's flooded and the steep sides of the mountains dip straight down into the dark green waters. 400 hectares of farmland were inundated and almost 49,000 people had to be re-settled from this one area alone. A huge task.

We Gabriola Islanders were not terribly impressed to hear that, before the Changjiang Bridge was built in 2004, people often had to wait one or two hours for a ferry to get across to Badong. So? And your point is??? That's perfectly normal here. But we WERE impressed to learn that if the River was flooded and the ferry couldn't sail, passengers had to wait ten or more DAYS to get to the other side! There'd be a riot if that happened to Gabriolans!

The Gorge was beautiful - the mountains down to the water are green and the dark green water clearly reflects the mountains. Jade-like.

Hanging coffins dating back 2000 years used to be placed in niches along the cliffs above Shennong Stream. The coffins were made of Chinese Nanmu log - a kind of wood that doesn't rot, but even so there are now only three of these left but we actually cruised by one. The object of suspending these coffins (which weighed several hundred kilograms) was to show respect to elders by placing their remains as close to heaven as possible. (Memo to offspring: No need to do that for me - I'm afraid of heights!)

On returning to our ship Bruce had an appointment with the Acupuncturist to see if it would help his pains at all. They also 'cupped' him and he ended up with what looked like 8 or 9 octopus 'suckers' on him. I'd post pictures, but in the interests of protecting sensitive souls..........!

Resuming our stately cruise we entered Wu Gorge followed by Qutang Gorge. Hard to tell where one ended and the other began, but that's what was written in the itinerary. It was still very beautiful.

The "Warm Prompt" (Hot tip) on today's schedule stated:

"Because of the special geography and climate, many flying insect at night, distinguished guests, please close the balcony door to bed at night, thankyou!'

Will do.

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