How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


On the Yangtze, Part 5

Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin

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 canceled 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 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. It was 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 from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. The promised excursion to the Goddess Stream had been canceled 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 canceled. 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 found it hard to accept it was only day three on the ship. It took all day to go through all the locks.

To show how lackadaisical I’ve become, I forgot about taking notes regarding lunch offerings.

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 many years old, the narrator was Jodie Foster. I wished the film had covered more and 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 and has air pollution control (generates 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, having lived 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.

Salads

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

Mains

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.

Desserts

I had two glasses of wine at dinner, and then a third to take to my room following the Guest Talent Show. Oopsie (the glasses were splashed not filled with wine). After the movie on Deck 5, I asked at the bar about buying a (cheap(er) bottle for our room, the same as the local brew at lunch and dinner. This wasn’t possible/available for purchase. Besides Jacobs Creek, an 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 brand at a tiny grocery store on a side-street.  Yes, it was good at that price and I was not willing to pay more. Hong Kong will be my next wine shopping adventure.

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 joined others for the Twist when dancing music played and more people got into the spirit. 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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8vBOzfkcdQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HKrLbtfkAc

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Next on August 25th – On the Yangtze, Part 6

© 2017 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014

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I am currently on an unplanned sabbatical. Please bear with me. I hope to return soon. 
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your kind and continued support more than I can express.


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Wuchan: Day 12, Part 3- The Cruise Ship

A quick supper was offered shortly after our arrival on the cruise ship. Although, we’d been provided with a meal during our flight, I have no memory of what it had been. Salad is all I remember at dinner on the ship around 8:00 p.m. Most everyone in our group tucked into romaine salad because we’d been told food served on board was washed in bottled water. Our first non-Chinese food in 12 days!

No spirits were free on our first night, but local beer and wine were promised beginning with the next day’s lunch and onward. Of course, we could purchase a bottle of wine if we wanted one.

Soft drinks, water, coffee, local beer and wine would be gratis, as much as we wanted. Any alcohol, other than the local product supplied, had to be purchased. (i.e. Australian wine: Jacob’s Creek was $40.00 a bottle) Chinese wines are competitive world-wide and supposedly quite good. I didn’t understand why imported wine was on offer. Why not push their own top-of-the-line wines for tourist sampling and free advertising?

The Wine Market and Drinking Habits in China (not same as tour guide informed)

http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/industry-markets-and-trade/statistics-and-market-information/by-region/asia-pacific/the-wine-market-in-china-opportunities-for-canadian-wine-exporters/?id=1410083148667#d

The Importance of the Yangtze River:

 

Sue had trouble opening our room safe. We advised the Registration desk and a young girl with limited English arrived. She wasn’t successful, but left for help. It took some finagling and at last, the man (non-English speaking) set the safe to rights.

Our room was a little cramped, but that’s to be expected and we’d lucked our with a balcony.

After our welcome, yet unexpected buffet, (I can’t remember anything but the greens and lots of vegetables), I asked one of our group if I he had a corkscrew I might borrow. Indeed he did. Meanwhile, I took a chance, (adventurous me) and asked at the bar  if I might borrow a cork screw temporarily. They gave me one. Remember the wine I purchased off Nanjing Road during our previous day’s shopping spree? It was good, considering the price of wine on boardindeed a bargain.

There wasn’t time to allow my wine to breath. Still, it wasn’t bad at $12.00 CAD (label name Dynasty, the other one advertised as decent, had been The Great Wall, I think). This is around the price we’d pay for a similar product at home.

I enjoyed two half-glasses before bed while typing up my China notes. Sue wanted to sleep so I cut it short. Other nights I’d been the party pooper; tonight was her turn. I would have liked to stay up another half-hour to complete my notes, but it had been a long day and I fell into bed. The ship had begun to move and I fell asleep.

For the first time since the start of this trip, I felt my cat, Lady Gaga’s absence and missed my fur ball. We’re only half-way home, and I don’t know if I can wait that long to see her. I wonder what she’ll do when I get home. Will she pout and turn up her tail, or come running for a hug?

IMG_0997

 NOTE:

I have been fighting with WP last night and the past two hours this morning. It kept freezing up on me. Now I have a headache.

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Next on December 12, On the Yangtze River, Day 13, Part 1

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