Day 5 - fast train from Beijing to Yichang on the Yangtze River, on the No 49 fast
At Yichang, board our river cruise.
Distance - 1525 km. Time - 7 hours 46 mins.
Our departure for Beijing Rail Station was not until 10.30 am, so it was lovely to have a later breakfast and time to catch our breath.
This a photo of the guide, [partly hidden]who was with us until our train departed, trying unsuccessfully to get Laurel and Merrell [background] through security. Their passport number did not match their passport number on their ticket. The ticket office wouldn't reissue. Nerves were becoming frayed after an hour of this impasse. Finally our guide suggested Laurel and Merrell move away and then try to enter at another gate. Thankfully this officer didn't bother to check very closely and two very relieved women quickly joined us.
The passengers for our train, waiting for permission to enter the platform area to board.
The very sleek engine of the Fast Train.
At these ever increasing speeds, the countryside whizzed passed in a blur. The overcast conditions didn't help either.
Such a smooth ride.
307 km/h was the fastest speed observed.
After a meal and prior to our embarkation at 10 pm, we were taken to a local 'supermarket' to buy any small food and drink items we felt we might need on board. Surprisingly, no-one purchased one of these ducks.
Day 6 - At 6 am I felt the motion of the boat, indicating that our cruise was under way, along the Xiling Gorge, the longest of the three.
Mid morning we docked to visit The Three Gorges Tribe Scenic spot. Initially we walked on a boardwalk hanging from the cliff edge.
At The Village on the Water, we turned left and followed the course of the Longjin Stream.
Our walk along this stream introduced us to the ancient culture of the Ba and Shu people.
High above this narrow gorge, we saw the 1st of many suspended coffins.
'Research has found that the suspended coffins are one of the funeral customs of the Pu People (people who lived around the Daning River 2,000 years ago).The higher the coffin is hung; the greater the filial piety is expressed.
They are hung up to 33 to 164 feet high and some even as high as 328 feet above the ground.'
Whilst enjoying the beauty of this waterfall, 10 to 15 monkeys came out of the trees adding to our excitement.
The romancing in the earlier photos led to a village wedding.
This was a delightful excursion giving us a glimpse of the life of these ancient people. The reflections and tranquility of this small gorge was soothing. Thankfully we were visiting at the end of the tourist season. The tranquility would be soon lost at the height of the season.
Our boat had the capacity for 250 guests. Our total was 45 - perfect for me!
Continuing along Xiling Gorge.
At Sandouping we went ashore after lunch for a tour of the massive Yangztse Dam.
Before boarding the bus we had to walk through these lovely markets.
1st view - dam wall on left. Locks on right.
A 5 section escalator, took us above both the wall and locks for an incredible view of both.
At about approx 8 pm we entered the 1st of 4 locks. It would be after 12, before we exited into the upper reach of the Yangztse.
The beam of light that was constantly with us after dark, as a guideline for the boats captain.
After dinner we were treated to a performance of Chinese folk dance.
Being onboard with so few passengers was wonderful. The cruise along this mighty river was going to far exceed our expectations. I would love to read your comment.