Monday, February 9, 2009

Lesser Three Gorges, Yangtze River, China

For a tour of the Lesser Three Gorges, all of the passengers on our ship were transferred to two smaller tourist boats.

The Lesser Three Gorges, as is all of the Yangzte River upstream from the Three Gorges Dam, was significantly changed by the construction of the dam. Before the dam was built, the Yangtze tributary into the Lesser Three Gorges was barely navigable. We saw photos of the 'before' and one could beach a boat on a narrow shoreline that existed on each side of the river.

It was even possible to walk across the river in some places. Men, called Trekkers, were positioned along these sections of the river to, literally, pull the boats through the non-navigable parts.

Now that is all changed. Old villages and antiquities were covered with water. Millions of people had been relocated. It was interesting hearing stories from our young guides. They loved the new 'modern' cities. Their parents usually adapted OK too. It was their grandparents who had the hardest time...no longer being able to walk to visit old friends or to shop or to get to the local mah jong hall. That was sad.

For us this trip was extremely scenic, sailing between beautiful cloud shrouded mountain tops.

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