Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Boat To A Boat...To A Boat

When we arrived in Wushan, the end point of our little Chang Jiang jaunt, our time on the water was not yet over for the day. We had, early that morning, passed through the first of the Three Gorges. (Actually, we kind of slept through the gorge, causing momentary tension and finger pointing in the family. Luckily, the next day we were going back up the river!) Our real destination, though, was Xiao San Xia (the Small Three Gorges) and Xiao Xiao San Xia (the Small, Small Three Gorges...gotta love Chinese!).

This all made for a morning of boat jumping, first from our "big" boat to a smaller vessel that could ply Daning He, a small river off the Yangtze. We spent several hours on the top deck of this boat, watching scenery as good as the first main gorge, but at even closer distances. Along the way, we saw what was supposedly a hanging coffin, as well as some monkeys scampering along the rocky shore.

Then, just when we thought it couldn't get any better, we jumped off our "small" boat and boarded a really small, wobbly, bamboo-like craft. Now we were sitting right on the water, being serenaded by musicians up on the rocks and listening to the soothing Chinese of our boat's guide. The ultimate reward of all of this rocking back and forth was incredible cliffs soaring way up either side of us, up above a river only a few dozen meters wide.

The Small Three Gorges, and especially the Small, Small Three Gorges, are definitely some of the best scenery we have come across anywhere. Funny names, too...



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