A travel moment along the Yangtze River

Finishing up my breakfast at 6am which consisted of bamboo, snails and various other weird and wonderful Chinese delicacies the Captain came over the loud speaker advising all passengers to proceed to the main deck. Rushing up the stairs, excited, I could already feel the humidityas I left the cool aid conditioned restaurant deck. I was not the first passenger to follow the instructions from the ships bridge but managed to find a good spot against the railings on the port side. We had been sailing all night along the Yangtze River and we were now slowly climbing up through our final lock – the colossal concrete walls towering high above us only feet away on each side of the ship giving the feeling we were buried in a deep hole. As the water poured in we rose inch by inch up to the waiting view at the top. After around 20 minutes we were greeted by the sight of lifting fog over the river revealing the enormous world famous 3 Gorges Dam. The giant structure located near the town of Sandouping in the Yiling district of Yichang, the dam is the world’s largest electricity-generating plant of any kind – and it shows. The magnificent man made dam has taken years to build and I find myself in awe of how it was even possible. This was quite a special view to be greeted with so early in the day. I could hear the buzzing and excitement from other passengers and the crew – even the crew get excited when they see the dam despite spending their lives sailing up and down the Yangtze. The Chinese on-board tour guide gives the dams history in several languages over the loud speaker system; I wait for English and listen in closely as this was going to be a highlight of my tour. I remember reading about the dam and seeing photos prior to my trip and seeing it was exactly how I had imagined. Many people may ask, ‘why were you so excited? It is only a dam after all!’ Agreed, but with the location, the sight that greeted us as we lifted from the lock to see this absolutely incredible sight with the weather and time of day it was a special moment.

The journey continued down the river but I was happy sitting on one of the many deck chairs as we meandered through the valleys and waiting for dinner to come round – I had heard it was fish eyes with extra spicy noodles tonight!

T Williams

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