China Trip – Day 8

Yangtze River -> through the “Three Gorges”: from the Three Gorges Dam thru Xiling Gorge, thru Wu Gorge; including up & back Goddess Stream on smaller local excursion boat, past Wushan, and thru Qutang Gorge. Weather: cooler with heavy rain at times and always cloudy and misty

We get up at 6:45 and have breakfast at 8:30, as we are cruising on the Yangtze River. We cruise through the Lesser Three Gorges: Longmen Gorge, Bawu Gorge, and Dicui Gorge. It is raining today and the mist and clouds adds to the mystic of the steep mountain walls that surround us. While we are sailing through the Wu Gorge we stop and do an excursion on a small local boat up Goddess Stream.

Small village on the banks of the Yangtze River.
Modern coffins in mountainside along river. The old ones were made of wood.
Leaving cruise ship in rain to get on local small boat to go up Goddess Stream.
Our cruise ship on the Wu Gorge.
Picture of the small boats we went on the Goddess Stream in. Note steep sides to the river.
This is our guide on the excursion up Goddess Stream. She is 26 years old and from the local mountains. Her family lost their home and were relocated when the dam was built. She went to college and got her degree in finance but came back to the mountains where she grew up to live with her grandparents. Her parents work in the city and she only sees them once a year when they come home for New Year. She has two sisters, both in college. Since they live in the mountains and are a “minority” group of Chinese people they could have more than one child. Unlike Scotty in Shanghai. She improves her English by studying two hours everyday after work on the internet to learn new words, very self motivated. She teaches us some Chinese words through music!
View of the steep gorge as we go up the stream.
Part of our group on excursion up Goddess Stream. Luckily the boats had a roof to protect from the rain.
The ride is very picturesque with the mist and clouds.
This rock formation is what the area is named after: The Goddess.
Closer view of ‘The Goddess’, rock formation on top of Goddess Peak.
Rick returning to the ship.
Nancy & John returning to the ship after excursion up Goddess Stream.

We go back to the ship and continue cruising, and listen to commentary on the area as we cruise through the gorges. As we go through the Qutang Gorge they tell us this is the area where the picture on their 10 Yuan paper money is taken from.

Area on the 10 Yuan (their paper money).
Picture taken from Qutang Gorge is featured on their 10 Yuan.

As we continue cruising with it raining I go and watch a demonstration on how to fold bath towels into different shapes. They make one into an elephant. Rick isn’t feeling well at all, ? food poisoning. He stays in the room close to the bathroom. I go to a private showing for our group of making “Hot Pot” – a local way of cooking dishes in a HOT broth. Meaning both temperature and the spices they add. They use a lot of chilis. I tried it at the end and thought it was very tasty, however the chef made it only a “2” out of 10 for us.

Elephant made from bath towels.
Chef making ‘Hot Pot’ dish.
Hot Pot dish/soup with all kinds of things added.

We continue cruising and enjoying the sights even with it still raining.

A lighthouse on one point. Can see why they need it with the low clouds and steep sides to the gorges.
Chinese writings on the rock walls.
Narrow roadway/walkway along the river, either way Rick says he will pass thank you!
Pretty mountain area, showing the sides that make the gorges, with the low clouds lingering.
We see quite a few barges caring gravel for all the concrete used in making the new skyscraper buildings in the cities.
The bridge over the Yangtze River as approaching Wushan.
This is Wushan, a new city built after the dam was built, at the end of Qutang Gorge.

We spend time talking to the man that paints the inside of snuff bottles and end up buying two. One was done by him of The Great Wall and the second one with very fine detail done by his grandfather, now deceased. It is painted of Suzhou where we went on the gondola boats.

We go to dinner but Rick’s stomach is still bothering him and he eats very little. After dinner we go to the Crew Cabaret Show. It is all done by the ship’s crew members. It is an hour and a half of various Chinese dances. I like the mask changing one best. He changed masks seven times, don’t know how he does it. Ended the evening with me on the dance floor with the local dancers! We get to bed at 10:15 as the ship continues to cruise throughout the night.