Slept for a total of almost eight hours and it felt great to get a full night’s sleep. Today’s schedule is busier than yesterday’s.
As you can see on the schedule the estimated time to go through the lock at the Gezhou Dam was six am. About 5 am I was reading when I heard weird metal noises outside.
I looked out and we were entering the lock next to a barge full of dirt.
We were very close and bumped at times.
Some of the people in our group set alarms for 6 am and missed it!
I decided to skip tai chai and got some laundry ready to be sent for cleaning. With four days left on the trip I needed to send out a couple of shirts, my pajamas and a pair of pants.
Breakfast was at 7 am and I was there pretty early. There were lots of great selections ranging from fresh fruit to omelettes to steamed buns.
The scenery in the Xiling Gorge is so beautiful and I took lots of pictures before and after breakfast.
Tribe of Three Gorges
We docked around 8:30 where the morning optional excursion, Tribe of the Three Gorges, was being debarked. If you didn’t buy the excursion, you had to stay on the ship.
I went to the Chinese medicine lecture and learned a lot.
My back has been bothering me ever since the long plane ride over resulting in sciatic nerve pain down my right leg every time I step up so I decided to see Dr. Wang. He made me an appointment for 8:40 pm tonight.
After that I signed up for the optional tour tomorrow but if they don’t get 30 people it isn’t held. Hope they get enough!
I went to lunch a bit earlier than my assigned table time to beat the rush of people returning from the tour at 12:30. Then I rested until time for the afternoon tour.
Right before leaving my laundry was returned all folded in a basket. I was asked to check it before signing the bill. Less than 100 yuan (about $14) for the service.
There was so much to see on the river I never wanted to turn my eyes away in fear of missing something unique.
Three Gorges Dam Tour
For the afternoon tour to the Three Gorges dam we met in the dining room at our table. One of the guides passed out our boarding passes so we could leave the ship and they know who’s not on board.
Remember that photo of the horse statue from yesterday’s tour on the Jingzhou wall? One of our tour mates fell while trying to get on that horse and hit the concrete post below it. He and his wife left the ship with John (our tour guide) at the first excursion and came back on-board when we docked at the second stop. He has a few micro fractures on his spine it turns out. He doesn’t need surgery as it should heal fine with time according the medical providers he saw.
We had to walk a short distance to the buses.
As always, I was fascinated by the street food stalls we passed on the way to our buses.
Our guide for this excursion was full of information about the Three Gorges Dam project and the area. On the way to the dam site, we learned that it cost $30 billion dollars to build the entire project including relocation of 1.3 million people. We were told half the cost was for the people relocation part of the project.
I was glad we got the opportunity to view the locks we would transit in a few hours.
When these vessels complete the five locks they can have a vertical difference between upstream and downstream of up to 370 feet or 113 meters.
It takes 3 to 3 1/2 hours to transit the five locks.
When we got to the dam site, we had to get off our bus and get on a bus inside. We then took escalators and stairs up to the visitor center.
We had time to shop after learning about the project.
There are models inside the visitors center of the entire project.
The park by the visitor’s center had lots to see including the magic “four-faced” Tetrahedron in a fountain above.
I didn’t learn the significance of all the displays like this pillar.
The book above was huge!
From this area I took stairs down to another area with a fountain and gift shop.
The snacks in China never cease to amuse me. Fish anyone?
I will say the gift shop here had great prices on souvenirs including silk jackets without needing to haggle. We then walked down to the bus to be taken to view the dam powerhouse.
We passed more food stands on the way to the powerhouse viewing area.
The huge grapefruit below were cheap but one of the ladies who bought one was sick with stomach issues the next day.
There are 32 turbines producing 2% of China’s energy.
Sadly, the smog/fog never dissipated and we couldn’t even see the end of the dam.
The ship’s photograph captured me returning to the boat with a smile.
Captain’s Welcome Party
I went to the captain’s welcome reception at 6:00 pm which was more fun than I anticipated.
We had a glass of free champagne (which they refilled later but I had already switched to cranberry juice and vodka).
The captain couldn’t attend because we were starting our locks journey and he was required to be on the bridge. Several crew members did a dance performance. This is in addition to their regular jobs on the ship.
It was very good as usual and they were making noodles in the cooking area today.
I’ve never had rabbit in my life and didn’t start now.
It was nice to have western desserts along with a nice fruit selection.
At one point I reached out and touched the wall. It was slimy from algae (don’t worry I washed my hands right afterwards). We were so close to the wall, I saw (and felt) the boat bounce off many times.
At 8:40 I went to see the doctor. He prescribed a treatment of acupuncture followed by cupping followed by acupressure and then put two herbal patches on my back at the two pain points.
My “homework” was to take 15 minute hot shower with the stream aimed at my lower back. Then I used the hairdryer to dry the patches before getting dressed. I did that and went to sleep rather quickly.
Distance: 3 miles
Don’t miss the previous China posts linked below.
Going to China (tour and visa)
China: Trip Preparations
November 12-13, 2016: Travel to Beijing
November 14, 2016: Beijing and Great Wall
November 14, 2016: Ming Tombs and Peking Duck Dinner
West International Trade Hotel Beijing
November 15, 2016: Hutong and Temple of Heaven
November 15, 2016: Tiananmen Square, Fobidden City and Beijing Opera
November 16, 2016: Pearl Factory and Summer Palace
November 16, 2016: Traveling to Xi’an
November 17, 2016: Jade Factory and Terra Cotta Warriors
November 17, 2016: Dumpling Dinner and Tang Dynasty Opera
Grand Barony Xian Hotel
November 18, 2016: Traveling to Wuhan
Howard Johnson Pearl Plaza Wuhan
November 19, 2016: Wuhan to Jingzhou
November 19, 2016: Boarding the Century Diamond