three gorges dam. Our day train ended up arriving at midnight... And
after a rather unnerving taxi drive into the off roads trying to
locate our hostel, we arrived to our beds at nearly 2 am. It was a
darling little place with no lock on the door, black mold covering the
walls, and no other back packers in sight. There was air conditioning,
and clean (ish?) bedding, and I was so tired that, staving off my
negative thoughts of being murdered I love to torture myself with, I
managed to pass out. Jumped outta that bed at 6:30 and started packing.
" Should we leave our bags here for the day and come back for them?" -
"No. Let's just get the fuck out of here."
A mildly challenging engrish conversation with the lady at the front
desk... No we didn't want to pay the hostel for their tour, can she
just tell us how to take the bus to the gorges ...
And we were off. Walking in the rain for about 20 minutes we found our
first bus stop. It costs 1¥ (.15 cents) to ride the bus here! But it
was crowded and we were soaking wet and tired so the trip wasn't that
fun. 40 minutes later we arrived at the bus's last stop which is where
our hostel lady told us to transfer. Another rickety bus ride and we
transfered again to a more ' touristy' bus that cost 10¥ and would
take us to the Three Gorges tourist site. This bus was more
entertaining. Listening to Eric Clapton ( tears in heaven) and Boys 2
Men play over the radio in china was quite an experience. They seem
to love cheesy music here. Espescially from the 80s and 90s.
Another 45 minutes later we were at the take off site to view the dam.
This next bus cost us 100¥ and would take us to two viewing sights
plus a 'memorial park' ?
There wasn't another option unless we wanted to climb the roads on
foot but even so we'd get to the same places and it was now boiling
The bus took us to two viewing platforms. All landscaped and equipped
with lovely bathrooms - unheard of anywhere else in the country except
posh hotels. You got the feeling they wanted us to really love it
here. And marvel and ooo and ahh at how fabulous the Chinese are.
Mostly I felt regret for even coming and giving them my money but I
guess it was worth it. The sheer size of the project was amazing. I
read they used 10 million pounds of cement. And they've been working
on it since 1992. The concept was born in the 1920s though, and I
suppose was passed on through the ranks until somebody had enough
balls to actually do it.
It made me sad to think about all the displaced families who were
forced to give up their land. Some who had lived there for
generations. There was no mention of these displaced persons at the
socalled 'Memorial Park' - just tourist shops and ponds of goldfish.
In guessing to show how healthy the water is and how much they care
about nature. Hmph
I'm glad I went. But it wasn't an inspiring trip. Maybe if I was more
into the colossal physics water dams Id've been thrilled.
Back on a trillion buses to get to downtown Yichang. A nice man on our
last bus helped us find our hotel. He lived nearby and would show us
where to get off.
Yay a hotel!!!! You can imagine my relief after almost two weeks of
hostels to arrive somewhere with clean beds and fresh towels. After
two showers, and a good dinner I fell asleep in peace. No Mosquitos,
no bed bugs, no black mold, no people walking through our room to get
to another one. Yipee !
The loveliness was short lived though, both my sister and I both woke
up with food poising and spent the entire day bed ridden then dragged
ourselves to the train station for more puking, but this time on stage
infront of a crowded waiting room of chinese fascinated with watching
the white girl puke her guts out. Am I having fun yet? ;)
After our long long train to Guanzhou we felt much better. We said
goodbye to boo's friend and hopped a highspeed train to Shenzen ( just
an hours trip) where we crossed the border into hong kong and rode the
metro downtown. Goodbye China! What a wacky place. Sad it had to end
with me being horribly I'll but it was quite a trip. I wont lie I am
happy to be somewhere i can speak the language and go into the
washrooms without gagging. 2 days in hong kong await then home !!!