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.
The barges had lined up: (10;58 a.m.)
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.
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.
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Next on January 16th – On the Yangtze, Day 16, Part 6 (Ghost City
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