19th of June (day 1)
The weather in Chongqing was terrible today to say the least, thunderstorms and heavy rain all day, however around noon we challenged nature and went to Carrefour to buy supplies for the boat ride. A few hours of waiting later we were told that we would be picked up by someone, and after walking for half an hour we finally got to our boat. The ship itself is quite nice for the price we paid, more on that later, it has a karaoke bar, sun deck, restaurant and a shop. When we got on board there were some smaller problems with our room and even though the third class six bed dormitory wasn’t that bad, we were offered a twin room for only 360yuan more. The room we have now has two bunk beds, a cabinet, a desk, a small window, television and its own toilet and bath not a bad deal for 360yuan, four days and three nights. The bad news is that the bed linen smells a bit old and the water was brown to begin with, however for a river cruise at 160 Yuan per day I am not complaining.
Tomorrow morning the first tour takes place, the destination is Fengdu “Ghost City”. While I am sure it’s interesting enough the fact that it carries a terribly expensive entrance fee and is at 6:30 in the morning makes me inclined not to go, however going ashore to take a look around is free and convenient, the only thing I have to worry about is getting back on the boat on time.
The total for this trip so far has come up to 400 for the third class ticket, 180 for the class upgrade and 60 for the sightseeing deck: 640 for four days (160 per day). On top of that, food for a few meals, a total of 100 Yuan.
20th of June (day 2)
Today started awful to say the least. I assume it was the sausage I ate yesterday that gave me food poisoning and basically put me in bed the entire day. Around 8 in the morning we went ashore and took a walk up a long staircase, at that time I was already feeling a bit sick and afterwards decided to take a nap. I woke up around 15 in the afternoon with a heavy fever and muscle pain, however after a couple of hours of sleep, lots of tea, food, a shower and a coke I am alright again, so hopefully I will be able to enjoy the day tomorrow.. The scenery here is dull right now, there is a heavy fog that prevents us from seeing the shore clearly. We will arrive at the actual three gorges tomorrow and enter the most beautiful scenery of this trip.
21st of June (day 3)
When I woke up this morning I still wasn’t feeling my best, but after a little breakfast and a shower I was alright. The weather is like yesterday and the day before, rainy and not very clear, it is however clear enough to be able to see the beautiful scenery of the first gorge. This part of the Yangtze has many small abandoned towns, and every once in a while you see a sign with the label “175m” which reminds you that this is how far up the water will rise. We have just made our stop at Wushan city where we will stay over night before leaving for Mouping tomorrow.
22ND of June (day 4)
Today was the last day of the trip down the river. Our first stop was at a small minority village, which was in the spirit of a lot of things in Asia “Same same, but different”, however emphasis was on “same”. Around 11 we sailed further down the river, towards the end of the tour. We had sailed more than 500 kilometers down the Yangtze and the last stop was a few kilometers from the new Three Gorges Dam. From the top of the dam there wasn’t really much to see, so we decided to spend 150 Yuan on a two hours tour around the damn, ship locks and park. While it was interesting and did have an amazing view, most people felt it was a little overpriced. Getting to Yichang was easy, and we got a connecting bus to Wuhan for only 80 Yuan, unfortunately the bus trip was horrible. Everything inside the bus seemed to be broken, even the air-conditioner was out of order. What really took the cake was a plastic cup with leftover egg in it, and maggots crawling all over, not to mention the smell.
We will stay here in Wuhan until the day after tomorrow where we have a flight to Shanghai. Hopefully there will be something interesting to do here