Chongqing to Wuhan
26/04/2010 - 29/04/2010 25 °C
So we rocked up to Chongqing train station at 00:30 am, convinced a taxi to take us to a hostel where we'd not yet had chance to book a room! Taxi couldn't find it, called them for directions and luckily for us we got two beds in a dorm full of snoring (smelly) men! One lovely nights sleep later n we had booked our 4 day cruise down the Yangtze River! Time was of the essance so off we ran to grab some food provisions... We arrived at the meeting point typically Rojo style (30 minutes late) panicking, thinking that we had missed our transport to the docks; only to realise they were running 1 hr late and that the docks were literally across the road!
A couple of years ago we went on The Aurora cruise ship (see above) which took us around the Canary Islands in style, with evening dress for dinner, karaoke (we rocked out!), casino n bingo hall, shuffleboard, coits (still not sure what this is) and 3 pools - did I mention the spa?! Our room was fully kitted out with mod cons, dbl bed, balcony, lovely bathroom etc - the works (nearly!). Well the Yangtze cruise ship was exactly the same!!
It floated in water! Ha ha ha
The Chinese ship capacity is 300+ ppl over three levels. Of all of the passengers on board, there were 2 Non-Chinese people; prizes for guessing who these were?! Yep, u guessed it, Rojo were the only foreigners on board so as is becoming the norm, we are a novelty (still).
Now here's the real boat description:
The restaurant menu was in Chinese (no pics) so we had lucky dip for dinner, all the tours were in Chinese so we made our own version of events up between us which provided our ship entertainment. That and trying to work out the rules for Chinese card games we were invited to. Got lots of stares and we grew to like some of the more inquisitive ppl on board. Typically on the last day we met someone who could speak English. He was from china living in Canada. He wasn't too impressed with the tour!
Did I mention it was 4 ppl to a room; there were bunkbeds (small, uni sized ones) and a shower over the toilet situation (hole in floor) in the bathroom (not nice!).
Our roommates of course snored away for 3 consecutive nights so we're really happy Jon left the earplugs back in St Petersburg...
Played lots of UNO (I'm beating Jon currently), drank (free) green tea n ate noodles for breakfast! Scenery was stunning, we loved it- very geographical. Lots of caves, cliffs n vegetation plus old n new waterlines. Sunny so got a bit sunburnt! Gradual build up to my mahogany tan I'll have when I come back!!! (dreaming...). Surprisingly no incidents re falling overboard! not sure they would have stopped had either of us actually fallen off since we Don't know "man overboard!" in Chinese...
Our first stop off was to the Ghost City. We climbed up a zillion steps to the top of a hill on the way seeing weird n wonderful temples relating to death n the underworld. We got this from the sparse English plaques scattered around.
Second stop was to change boat to a day cruiser to go and see the Three Little Gorges.
After seeing two of the three we transferred again to another boat- this time it was a tiny bamboo boat, two to a bench with life jackets you'll be pleased to here. We even got asked to dress up in traditional clothing so everyone else on the boat had good holl snaps! And we got a keyring to remind us of this amazing moment...and were then charged 10 yuan (£1)!
Third n final stop was to see Jinshan river where we changed boat yet again to a tiny bamboo dragon boat where we got to 'race', yep we grabbed an oar each and rowed to drumbeats! Then they turned on the motor cos everyone gave up!
Arriving at our destination we discovered a walkway on the water (so we can honestly say we've walked on water) which we followed to the end then up some iron steps to the side of a cliff. The railing continued so I had a safety net thank goodness! Carried along n got lovely views then sat through a Chinese drama (no clue as to what was going on) and then sailed back home to the big boat.
Bus to Yichang the end of the river cruise as advertised (didn't bother with the dam) then bus change over and on to Wuhan (5 hrs) which is where we are now!
I currently have the cutest bunnie in the world sat on my lap! All White n tiny!!!! Trying to give it a bit of freedom cos it's cage is tiny- just fits him in with the food I could fit him in my pocket....I'm sure no one would ever know... Hmmmm! :D
Joyce, FYI - We wrote this together so no more cheeky comments please!! (Jono typing now obviously) :-)