English Version 51
Yangtze River, Wushan
I fell asleep on my back. I can feel in my throat that I`ve been snoring most of the night. I hope Burghard is a good sleeper. I wake up at 5 and just HAVE to look out of the window. There`s a window in my side of the cabin that can open, and I end up sitting watching the day rise over the Yangtze River. A faint sound from the engine but besides it`s so peaceful! You can always sleep. The boat goes slower and stops eventually. There`s a knock at the door at 5.30 and I know what it means, we`re about to arrive at the first gorge. When we try to enter the top deck it`s closed. It costs you to get up there. Now. It didn`t last night. Si shi quai, I can hear her say. 40. I find a hundred note and pay for us both. Especially Burghard who bought the whole packages is upset, but we have to wait with our complaints. It`s too dark for pictures with my camera, so I have to let do with the impressions in my mind. A photo can`t catch all this in the faint light.
When we complain the guide tells us it`s a kind of deposit. We`ll get 10 back when we give back the new plastic card we now wear around our necks. Burghard tells her it will be in the new guide from LP. He knows a German "verlag" that cooperates with them. It`s not her job to understand that sort of things.
We eat breakfast. I share my supplies with him. I went bananas in the supermarket and filled the extra sport bag I got from the consul. It`s nice I now have someone to share with. He deliver the coffee and some cakes.
Soon after we`re at 3 lesser Gorges, to which we both bought access and we have to enter another boat and on a 6 hours tour up a minor river. We get a small green ticket, walk through two other boats that`s nearer the boardwalk and changes the little green ticket for a green plastic card and a ticket. I have to give back the plastic card 5 m`s ahead and now I`ve just put it away!
Maybe the mountains are not that high here in 3 lesser Gorges, but
the river is more narrow and it`s a normal tour boat, where you can look
freely in all directions.
I`m allowed into the cockpit, it`s not that there is more to see from there, but I regard it as a special gesture and think I have to give back something so in poor Chinese I tell about my evacuation from Maoxian and the missing bike. The guide is this time a "pure" Chinese without any English and she`s babbling all the way in a yellow squeaking megaphone.
When I once more is invited into the cockpit I wonder, until I see a box with the writing: Boatmen`s tip. Aha.. Now we get a new red ticket and the guide confirms what I just wrote: no English. Out in the back a man comes touching my arm and my beard. I think he`s too close, but when I look at the Chinese I can see I`m a bit unusual. And I who`s not that hairy!
We make a stop and walks up to a town where "the old part" apparently
has been moved because of the dam. When the dam is finished the level of
the water will be 175 m. Now it`s about 150 m I think. Then you don`t
have to walk all those stairs as now. We go on and changes once more to
a smaller boat in which "natives" take us the last part. The old man in
front with the flat Chinese hat is talking and takes to singing once.
His voice is fine, I would have liked to have it on tape.
During the sailing more music is heard from up the rocks, where a man is sitting in a little green cabin playing a horn. The clou is a 4 person quire on another rock and then we`re heading "home".
When I`m on my bicycle 5 hours of sleep is no problem, but here where I`m inactive the "squeaking yellow megaphone" makes me sleepy. Burghard has gone to sleep long ago. My snoring must have kept him awake.