Still on the Yangtze River. August 7th / 仍在长江游
We’re group River Dolphin, and this is day six of our blog. This morning we woke up at 6:00am to get an early start on our day. We landed at Feng Jie County. After a short breakfast off the boat, we were on our way to the White Emperor’s Palace (the starting point of the three gorges), which was situated eloquently into the folds of the mountainside. We learned a lot of history about the area, including a significant amount of the three kingdoms history. The area used to be dominated by a peninsula, which, since the rise in water level (the result of the three gorges dam) has become an island. Unfortunately, this has drowned some parts of the historical site.
After our cultural experience, it was back to the boat, and through the first of the three gorges – Qu Tang gorge. We could hardly believe our eyes as we passed through some of the highest cliffs that most of us have ever seen in our lives. At the Kui Gate, the first cliff of the gorges, there are uncompleted ZhanDao (walkways) on the cliff, where ancient Ba people used to transport goods. Most parts of the ancient pathways were submerged by the water forever, along with many treasure left by long history along the Yangtze. After lunch, we switched to a smaller boat to see the small three gorges, which lie on a tributary to the Yangtze. As we moved up the tributary the water turned from brown to a curiously eutrophied green. Passing through the ever-narrowing river we transferred to smaller riverboats – similar to ones historically pulled by the Ba people walking on the riverside.
Along the Yangtze River there is a continuous whiter strip of rock were the water level has risen in the past. As we went through the mountains, we wondered how the coastline would have looked in the past, before the dam’s construction caused the water level to rise.
After dinner, we assembled in the makeshift lecture hall – the mahjong room. We had three provocative seminars presented by Mengqi Xing, Shengrui Feng, and Zheng Cao. They began discussions pertaining to the environmental impacts of the three gorges dam and the south to north water diversion project. We talked about the eutrophication that we saw earlier in the day.
The boat has arrived at our next destination, and we have another early departure tomorrow, so, from everyone, goodnight!