Thursday, July 8, 2010

Yangtze River Diary Day 10 Qutang and Wu Gorge

Thank you so much for your kind words via comment and emails on my last post, David and I are both okay. After a much needed break and as promised the China journey continues this week down the Yangtze River, see all posts here. There is quite a bit to share for Day 10 I am splitting it up into more than one post!

The day started out rather miserably, it was drizzling, windy, cold and damp. After a comforting breakfast everyone gathered at top deck for a narrative tour. Susan, the ship's English translator introduced us to Qutang Gorge, the first of the Three Gorges. Below one of its views surrounded by steep mossy cliffs.
On the other side, another growth covered ridge, just like the ones in Chinese paintings. A lot taller than I had imagined, it soared majestically above the calm river waters, a giant compared to its minuscule surroundings.
Chinese calligraphy was carved onto one of the rock surfaces. The characters were extremely legible but I do not know what they said. They must be a few metres high (judging from the walkway rail midway on the right) and must have taken a long time to engrave in stone. A proud display of commitment and declaration for all to view.
The cliffs gave way to meandering shapes. Susan pointed out the various scenic views which some guests commented as average. It was not until she had gone over most sights that someone pointed out she confused the right with the left! Oh well... I think most sights required vivid imagination, I could not envision a Goddess sitting on top of the ridge. Can you?
As we travelled down the Gorge, the distant silhouettes reminded me of boat trips with George around Vancouver. With these thoughts of home, I was delighted to find what I had hoped and came to see. Soft shapes lingered off far away, much like the ones I saw in pictures and documentaries, I did not think I was able to see much of this as the water had begun to rise for the Three Gorges Dam.
The day carried on its wetness. The camera lens was rained on twice, I took shelter under the outdoor tent and kept on shooting. I could not take my eyes off of the view.
Endless streams of farmlands on hills, it was so very pretty, breathtaking and relaxing.The cultivated lands went high up on the slope, though not terraced, they reminded me of the countryside in Indonesia.
I managed to capture a close up of a farmstead, through the fog the colors were muted but remained charming. At some point along this journey, we ventured into Wu Gorge, I did not pay attention as to when. It did not matter, it was all so very exciting to be on the Yangtze.
In the picture below, an abandoned farmhouse, no roof, only its brick structure remained. This looked like a countryside setting in Europe, perhaps Italy or Spain. Nearby the trees were spotted with bright yellow bits, we later found out they were oranges, this region's specialty crop.
Close by a long flight of steps, my heart would be so strong if I use it every day.
I noticed there was people working in the fields, an ox was used to till the land, no machinery in sight.
A curious sight below, many people were toiling away at the land, what were those rods used for? A trail of smoke on the left, we saw lots of them on the cruise, the locals were burning garbage to use as fertilizer for the soil.
The boat travelled to an industrial part, smokestacks belched out nasty fumes into the air, the rural areas were so much more pleasant.
A metropolitan area, multi dwellings built as close to each other as far as you can see. This was most unsightly but could well be one of the rushed cities developed to house the displaced people from the rising water.
The red bridge posed as a metal rainbow as we left the hideous commercial region, back to more calming contours, aaaaaaahhhhhh.
One of the few ships that passed by, a lot less than the day before, this freighter's crew spotted our ship and came out to say hello, there were two little kids on the lower deck, was this a working family?
A shot of the freighter's cargo, various road vehicles of sorts, motorbikes, small sized lorry trucks, where were they off to?
A hydrofoil, one of the guests pointed out they were Russian, the Chinese had bought up all the decommissioned ones to transport people up and down the river. It was one of many that whizzed by us and emitted a high pitched sound. It traveled too fast for the camera but I persisted with several attempts, the shot below was my victory.
The rear of our cruise ship Three Kingdoms, lined with potted plants, an element of home.
A lasting image of the river as we traveled down the Yangtze that day. The cruise will be continued next week!

1 comment:

  1. Your photos of the Yangtze River are stunning. What an experience that must have been. The urban area looks nightmarish. I love the red bridge. Thanks for sharing this, I truly enjoy the posts.