|We visited the Three Gorges Dam the morning of October 19. Building the dam resulted in the relocation of many thousands of people, the obliteration of important cultural sites, and long-term environmental damage. Hundreds of miles downstream the rapidly growing municipality of Chongqing has been pumping untreated waste and chemicals into the Yangtze. The river isn't able to flush this out so the concern is that it could all collect in a 400-mile long cesspool. Not a pleasant thought.
Every time our guide said "ship locks" I thought she was saying "shiplap" until I finally figured it out. I obviously have watched too many episodes of Fixer Upper on HGTV with Chip and Joanna.
We learned about the "naked trackers" at a presentation on the ship. Before the rapids were cleared in the 1950s boats could only make it upstream with the help of trackers, teams of barely paid men who were harnessed together to literally pull the boat, inch by inch, through the Three Gorges' torrents. Paths cut into the bank to make their work easier and less hazardous can be seen in several places through the gorges. Because they got so wet and it was cold to wear clothes, they started working sans clothing. No hot crossed buns here...