Saturday, May 4, 2013

Shennong Stream

We docked at the town of Badong and transferred to a ferry.

The ferry was smaller so it could fit up Shennong Stream through the three lesser gorges:  Parrot, Bamboo and Longchang.  The sides were steep and abrupt and the scenery was breathtaking!

There was another hanging coffin here which we could see much better.

We cruised underneath the new highway being built to link Shanghai with Sichuan Province.  We were directed to go inside the boat as we went under it to avoid any falling debris!  It's costing $63 million per kilometer according to our guide!!

Bamboo forests cover much of the hillsides.  
Crazy-shaped cave!
We came to the narrow end of the gorge and transferred this time to a "pea pod" boat for a 5-man-powered trip up the narrowest section of the gorge.

 A light rain was falling, but it didn't dampen the fun. 
 Two of the paddlers climbed out of the boat and "towed" it along the edge to show the tourists how the trackers used to haul ships up the river in former days.

Shennong Stream

 (You can hear Don's 8-yr-old grandson, Indy, asking why we're chanting those foreign words.)

It took several boats to load all of us from the BYU China Teachers tour group.  We couldn't help but get into the spirit by singing "Row, row, row your boat" in a round.  Then we had to challenge our friends to a race.

Pea Pod Boat Race

Our guide was of the Tujia minority.  These people live along the stream and in the mountains nearby.  She led us in a native song.

Shennong Stream Singer

I sat on the left side of the boat and got soaking wet because the paddler behind me kept splashing the water on me!  It was lots of fun, though, and we saw some beautiful country.  This stalactite looks like the head of a dragon, hanging out over the water. 

This rift in the rock made me wonder if an earthquake happened here.

This was definitely a Disneyland experience, only without the OSHA safety requirements!  It was lots of fun, and the men worked so hard to row us.  Kirk asked how much money they made for each trip.  He was told about 35RMB each ($5.60).  They only had one trip on the day we went, as it was the off season.  They had to climb up the trails over these high mountains and hike for about 2 hours to get here from the village where they lived.  Then they had to hike back after our 50 minute boat ride. Can I ever again think my life is hard?

Local fishermen
We went back to the ship and enjoyed our Captain's Farewell Banquet.  The waiters were surprised that 4 tables full of BYU teachers refused the champagne!
 The evening entertainment was the Victoria Selena Cabaret, another decent show put on by the crew, including dragons, a fan dance, a magician, a Sichuanese face-changing act (but the masks failed!), a Chinese instrumental group, and other dancers and acts.

There were a couple of audience participation acts, and at the end, they got everyone (who was willing) up to dance.  It was a regular disco party, including the Macarena, YMCA, the Electric Slide, and Oppa Gangnum Style.  Guess who was one of the last two still dancing?  

Disco ladies

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had fun dancing! Even without the champagne:-)