Monday, May 22, 2017

Gorging on Gorgeous Gorges

Soon after returning from White Emperor City we made sure to claim seats at the front of deck 5. We figured that would give the best, both-sides, unobstructed view of Qutang Gorge. I was glad we did. People packed the rail, but we sat further back since mostly we were looking above the heads anyway. Periodically I jumped up to go to the rail for a shot.

The announcement was to go to deck 6 (the roof) to see the gorge. Let’s just say that would have been a much more social experience, including an announcer talking the whole time about what you were seeing over the loud speaker. Joseph and Josephine, our table mates, complained that it was very hard to hear what was actually said because when English was being spoken, the non-English speakers felt free to talk among themselves. With that noise on top of the accent and electronic distortion, they didn’t understand anything. On deck 5 we could hear that there was an announcer on deck 6, but we weren’t disturbed by it, and the crowd was much less.

That white line of rock you see is where the river sweeps through during flood season. It is not a few feet wide as it appears, but more like 50 feet.

We came out of the steepest part of the gorge and all went to lunch at the same time, which was somewhat chaotic, but not bad in the private dining room. After lunch I made tea, and saved our seats while Steve had his usual siesta. Second gorge, Wu Gorge, was even better than the first.

 The peak you see here is Goddess Peak. If you look closely you can see some structures for pilgrims climbing the hill. I would love to do that, but Steve was less than enthusiastic. It wasn't an option this time.

We docked opposite Goddess Peak and transfered to small boats to go up Goddess Stream. 

This was a 2m deep rafting stream before the dam. Now it is 100+ m deep at the mouth. Technically part of Wu Gorge, it got narrower and narrower the further in we went. (The level didn’t change because this is the height of the dam.) It started to rain so the peaks are misted out in these pictures, but the best of pictures could never have done it justice. Absolutely awesome!

By the time we reached the narrowest part at the top of the stream an hour later and all turned around, it was raining steadily.

That just contributed to the sense of mystery as far as I was concerned.

I took this picture after we got back, sitting at the desk working on this blog. Forget it. I’m going to go sit outside! Who cares about rain?

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