Yangtze River: 12th May 2014
So quickly and efficiently did we get away this morning that we hardly noticed it. Breakfast was a bit of a scramble, but buffets usually are.
Our first excursion was the optional one for that day. It looked like chaos at first, with all the crowds, and the guides trying to outshout each other, for ours wasn’t the only ship moored here in the Xiling Gorge. But, some sort of order emerged from the confusion, and the ‘Tribes of the Three Gorges’ turned out to be an unmissable trip.
It’s a hike following the Dragon Stream, a tributary of the Yangtze, and almost the first thing you see is a traditionally dressed lady in a sampan on the stream below.
All the way up the gorge, you pass traditional buildings, water wheels, cormorant fishermen … they’re showing China as it used to be … or, maybe, as we imagine it used to be. The jury’s still out on that one.
There’s natural beauty here, too. Everyone stopped to photograph or video the monkeys; the waterfall was pretty, rather than spectacular and, on the way back, they showed us a re-enactment of a wedding ceremony … I nearly got ‘jiffed’ to be the ‘groom’, but I got out of the way in time, and another was chosen instead.
When we got back around lunchtime, we found the laundry we’d left out before we left had already been delivered. Full marks for that!