Thursday, November 25, 2010

Guilin Journal Day 16 Slowly Along Li River Part 3

Hello Thursday! Let's continue along the Li River on our China trip today! Last week we noticed our ship was lagging behind all the others, but all passengers suspected nothing so we continued to enjoy the surrounding scenery.

A fellow visitor pointed out some human activity along the river.
On closer look, the man was bent over freeing something from his net. The woman was scrubbing the laundry on a river rock while her white dog looked on attentively.
A boat similar to the one from Badong on this post was anchored to shore. I wondered if this was a tourist boat and if so, where does it go?
Pictured below a stretch of shoreline scattered with river rocks.
More exposed shorelines edged with algae, looking at the vast amounts of dry rock we realized the water level must be very low along this part of the river.
Our captain was careful to avoid the shallowest part of the river bed but we could still hear and feel the hull dragging along the rocks. The other ship pictured below was not so lucky and got stuck, it revved up its engine moving back and forth until finally it came free...
...and was on its way again.
As the other ship sped up, we began to wonder why ours was so slow. Numerous ships had passed honking, even the little fishing vessels were faster. Other passengers began to look for the tour guides to inquire but none was found.
On the way to the washroom, one of the passengers witnessed a very busy kitchen staff hovering over a small hole (about the size of a fist) on the floor, where some water had accumulated. They were hastily mopping up the water, others were scooping it up with bowls and ladles. He figured our ship had an unlucky bump earlier on and lost a part to the river.
At that moment, the guides appeared to report there will be a slight delay on our trip. Discussions amongst visitors concluded the captain decided to slow down to prevent more water seeping in. Surprisingly no one panicked, the water was so shallow we could see the fishes swimming amongst the grass on the riverbed, we would just roll up our pants and walk to shore!

Everyone's attention returned to the river cruise. Someone pointed out a row of cormorants tied to a floating log. Cormorant fishing is still practiced in China particularly along Li River.
The sweeping shoreline caught my eye, this one with groves of lush bamboo and fading hills in the background.
More exposed rocks, this time our ship kept a good distance away. The pale pebbles a nice contrast against the dark stream and low lying reddish bushes.
We were floating lazily along, with scenery like this how can anyone worry?
Specks of white later revealed themselves as ducks, this small group was feeding amongst the green weed.
Below on the bottom right, a single water bird surrounded by the vast landscape.
A large group of ducks, the biggest one we saw, making their way together in the same direction.
Onwards we sail, ever so slowly towards the lingering mountains. Next week our China adventure continues!

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