Floating Down the Yangtze River
We’ve been on a river boat on Yangtze River for the last three days. There are so many villages along the water’s edge. The problem is every year, during the monsoon, the river floods and wipes out complete villages. the Chinese govt decided to do a very controversial thing which was to build a dam to control the waters and prevent floods, and provide power for millions of people. The river that was once 3-6 meters is now 80 meters deep, which wiped out thousands of villages which are now beneath the water. Entire towns were relocated, including Badong, pictured here, which relocated 1.4 million people in total. The town pictured is a 20 year old relocation city, but it gives you an idea of just how crowded China is.
It was another day of indescribable beautiful limestone mountains as we passed thru three gorges…high mountains on both sides tower over us as our riverboat floats down between them….vey mystical looking with the haze. They transferred us from our large riverboat which holds 400 passengers, to a smaller boat, and then again to small sampans, so we could travel up the Shannong Stream, a tributary to the Yangtze. The mountains got tighter together, the river narrowing. (boats pictured)
These rickety, wobbly, sampans are 1000 years old and powered only by 3 oarsmen in front, and two in back, rowing full out for a solid hour, pulling the 12 passengers, with all the tourists yelling, “dear friends, c’mon!!!”, a phrase they taught us in Chinese to urge the oarsmen to paddle faster than our neighboring boats. there was not one ounce of fat on these guys…they were really strong, with ages ranging from 20s – 83 years. We felt like we went back in time 1000 years.