How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

On the Yangtze River: Day 15, Part 5 (To the Locks)


Forecast:  overcast skies and temperatures between 17 and 23 degrees C. Fog, mist and cold, damp air had already set up shop.

The 1:00 a.m. time slot to pass through the locks had been cancelled due to poor visibility. After being forced to drop anchor, the captain started up the engines around breakfast to make up for lost time.

I felt claustrophobic while surrounded by such solid and towering—sometimes rock and other times cement enclosures—on our side of the ship. We waited our turn. I noticed only one boat / ship behind us, smaller than ours.

8:05 a.m.

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (8:05 a.m.)

The barges had lined up: (10;58 a.m.)

10:58 a.m.

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


Slow progress towards the beginning of the locks (11:05)

We lingered over a late breakfast rescheduled an hour later than usual from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. The promised excursion to the Goddess Stream had been cancelled because our late entry through the locks and we hadn’t arrived at the correct destination. The optional tour to the fabulous White Emperor City   (360 Yuan or $60.00 USD) was also cancelled. Some people may have been put out, but no-one can control the weather and everyone’s money was refunded.

The days have been so slow and lazy (mostly reading), I find it difficult to realize this is only day three on the ship.

To prove how lackadaisical I’ve become, I forgot all about taking note of the offerings for lunch.

It took all day to go through all the locks.


At 5:30 on Deck 5, a movie ran about how the Three Gorges began, and about the displacement of 1.3 million people in the process. Though the documentary was a number of years old, I was surprised to learn the narrator’s name: Jodie Foster. I wished the film had covered up to a more current date.

Three Gorges Quick Facts:

  • The first gorge (Wu Gorge) is 76 km. long; the second is 44 km and the 3rd, 8 km.
  • The Gorge generates clean hydro power. Air pollution control (no pollution). Population: 1.3 billion; India is #2 in population
  • The dam is 1.4 miles long and 700 megawatts per turbine x 32 turbines
  • 3 million people were displaced when the land was flooded
  • Reasons for displacement was flood control and for tremendous additional hydro
  • The young people were happy about the move: new houses, television and radio etc.
  • The seniors were not happy because they had generations of history, living there all their lives
  • This is a mountainous geography.
  • There are three man-made tunnels on the way to the gorge, the longest is 3.6 km.

By 3:35 p.m., I noticed we were in the clear and out of the locks.

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie

Late Dinner rescheduled for 7:00 p.m.


Cold pasta; fruit with mayonnaise; cherry tomato salad; lotus root with orange; bean curd with shallot; stewed duck in soy sauce

French, Italian and Thousand Island dressings; romaine and chunks of red cabbage; sliced red cabbage; onion rings; sliced cucumbers; real bacon bits; raisins and Parmesan

Sliced peeled oranges; sliced watermelon; cantaloupe and honey melon; Longon


Black Pepper Sauce; Mushroom Sauce; stewed pork Hungary-style; roast potatoes; steamed pork slices with pickles; baked cabbage with cream; stewed chicken with bamboo shoots; pizza with pineapple (and banana); diced pork with pineapple; stir fry vegetables; steamed white rice; cream of pumpkin soup; mixed mushroom soup; Chinese fried noodles; and buns


I had three glasses of wine at dinner, and then a fourth to take to my room, following the Guest Talent Show. After the movie on Deck 5, I asked at the bar about buying a (cheap(er)) bottle for my room, the same as the local brew poured freely at lunch and dinner. This wasn’t possible / available for purchase. Instead of Jacobs Creek Australian wine ($33 / bottle USD), I was shown a bottle of Dynasty (China’s best local wine) at $21.00 USD. I wasn’t that thirsty. I had paid $10.00 USD, less than half, in Shanghai for the same bottle at a tiny grocery store on a side-street.  Yes, it was good at that price and I was not willing to pay more. I have never  paid so much. Hong Kong will be my next wine shopping.

Guest Talent Show:  (Only Four Acts)

  • The French group from Quebec
  • A Spanish group
  • Two Spanish dancers surrounded by their full tour group
  • Robert (our Beijing tour guide) sang a solo.

After the short performance Bonnie and Loreno danced to the twist when dancing music played and people got up to dance. Not me.

Afterwards, I read for a while and gabbed with Sue until 11:30. That’s a record for us, and I enjoyed my glass of wine. What a great idea. I’d seen others leaving the dining-room with a glass—and had my Aha moment.

Additional Information on the locks.

~ * ~

Next on January 16th – On the Yangtze, Day 16, Part 6 (Ghost City

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2015 All Right Reserved TAK

Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

73 thoughts on “On the Yangtze River: Day 15, Part 5 (To the Locks)

  1. In spite of the yucky weather, you still got to see some countryside and was entertained by a talent show! You were able to gab with your friend, sip wine and!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So interesting. I can’t imagine taking all day to go through. Were there some kind of tug to pull the boat along or did the boat motor through?


  3. My daughter went through the Panama Canal locks. Because they have a webcam up to watch traffic, I got to see her enter and exit. Was that fun! I don’t remember it taking a full day, though. I think it was a few hours.


  4. Nothing wrong with being lackadaisical and getting some books read. That’s what cruising is all about. 🙂


  5. After all of that walking perhaps a welcome relief? Wow to those buffets!


  6. If you had bought a bigger glass in one of those shops then you could have taken it into the dining room and filled it up before leaving!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like Andrew’s idea above. I’ve missed a lot of posts on my stay-vacation. For whatever reason I’ve always found locks fascinating. Don’t ask my why as I’ve never lived around them or traveled to them.


  8. It certainly looks a bit bleak in the dams, I think I’d feel claustrophobic like you. The food is endlessly fascinating and I think I might lose weight because I’m so damn fussy. Your wine decisions make me laugh Tess!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Time to read, talk, and drink wine–sounds good to me! The food looks good, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ummm… no. I wouldn’t like being stuck in the locks of a dam for seven hours. Nope. As for ah-ha moments — they’re the best! 😀 Great-big-hug!


  11. What an unusual place to be selling Jacob’s Creek wine (which is very nice 🙂 ).
    I enjoy the odd slow day when travelling – it’s good to rest, read, write and think about the trip.


  12. Three glasses of wine and then one to take to the room… wow, you and I could travel well together, Tess! 😀


    • Ha ha ha. It was a stressful day on the open water. Huge walls pressing against our balcony rails, but I stood my ground. “You can’t scare me,”I said under my breath and then I fainted. 😀 😀 😀

      The plane’s gassed up and ready to roll. Give me five minutes to pack and call a taxi. 😀


  13. Sounds like a much needed ‘rest’ day. I have a feeling there are still plenty of trekking like crazy days coming up! Was this one of the few buffet style meals? Most meals seem to have been brought to your table.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes, those lock walls look uncomfortably close but apart from that glad you enjoyed the down time. The buffet looks interesting too!


  15. What a nice spread of food!!


  16. How sad. I would have been one of the ones put out about not being able to see the White Emperor City. 😦 Those desserts look yummy.


    • The weather wasn’t co-operative, that’s for sure. The men, especially, were antsy being stuck on the ship. There’s just so many times you can walk around and round the deck in the drizzle.

      They all looked yummy–I don’t bother with desserts–but the other ladies in our group told me they had no taste. How does that happen?


  17. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    My weekly fix travelling beside Tess Karlinski as she journeys through China – we are still on the Yangtze river – fog, cancelled tours but Spanish Flamenco dancing and a French group from Quebec…the dinner seems to be very interesting with combinations I have not really come across before – fruit with mayonnaise..Pizza with pineapple (yes) Banana (not so much) as always an enjoyable virtual ride along.


  18. Congratulations! I have just given you the Very Inspiring Blog Award. Of course, you are under no obligation to accept it, but if you do please visit my blog to find the award and the rules for acceptance. Whatever your decision, let me thank you for being a constant inspiration to your readers! 🙂


  19. More overcast/smoggy skies. Sigh. Must have been some talent show if it required 4 glasses of wine! It is pretty cool to go through locks though, isn’t it?


  20. foggy and the food looks yummy 🙂


  21. Ah the weather has ruined many of my travel plans, but it also adds to the experience. And the food looks fab. That would have perked me up.


  22. Ahah…the wine moment! And the food does look delicious. Sorry about the cancelled trips though. This part of your trip sounds so relaxing compared to what went on before. Sounds so relaxing, chatting and reading in bed, polishing off a glass of wine. But don’t blame you for turning down a bottle for that price. I take it the talent show wasn’t, well, that talented? Still, all good fun. Hubby and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon 9 years ago and they had a talent show one evening. One man did his Elvis impression, as if he had been waiting his whole life for his ‘moment’. Actually, he wasn’t half bad… 😉 Looking forward to reading about what you get up to next… 😛


  23. The food looks interesting. I had read comments about the Three Gorges in a book I’ve just read set in China (well…sort of. I got an early copy but I’ll share the review as soon as it is out). At least you had a bit of a rest…


  24. Very interesting Tess. The food looks quite delish. Thanks for sharing. 💞


  25. Lock systems fascinate me. Moving freight on rivers always reminds me of the Mississippi, and of course then I have to sing. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.