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Published: April 26th 2011
April 22nd-24th, 2011
The first day was spent mostly traveling. We had to be up early at jumped on a public bus from 8am to 5pm. The bus did make two stops to use the squatters, but one was so bad people were coming out sick, so I decided to hold it. There was one interesting Chinese lady on the bus with us that picked up live chickens in the first city and was bringing them back to her home. First she tried to put them under the bus with our luggage, but since they were not caged they stopped her and she had to keep them near the bus driver up front. Not something you see often in America. The cruise was a three day trip through the three gorges of the Yangtze River ending at the biggest dam in the world, the Three Gorge Dam. After loading up on supplies (aka alcohol) the cruise director quickly went over the safety instructions, mainly just saying the boat has never sank so don’t worry that the life boat can only hold about 15-20 of the 150 passengers and the 110 personnel on board. It turns out the cruise
John Wayne is the female on the far right in the pink jacket
was smooth the whole way and had nice rooms and bathrooms.
The next day we went on a morning excursion to Fengdu, the Ghost City, which was nice to just get out and really walk around and take a few more “Where’s Waldo” pics. That afternoon we went through the first and smallest gorge, the Qutang Gorge. It was pretty beautiful. A bunch of our group went up on the sun deck and worked on our tans and read. A group of Chinese kept staring at the western women in our group and would walk over and just stand next to them while their eyes were closed. After I obviously caught them, they motioned for the girls to come join them in drinking. To their disappointment, I volunteered to join them and Danish girl, Julie (whom has since forgiven me for the monkey encounter) joined me. Within seconds we had beers in front of us and they were all excited to practice the little English they learned in school for the first time. Only one lady in the group spoke enough English to have a real conversation with, the others just kept pointing to each other saying, “He
Japanese” or she “Korean” and they all would laugh. This was probably cause there were tons of empty bottles all around as they had obviously been drinking for some time. We had a great time and thats when i met and started my 3 day relationship with John Wayne. Before everyone starts spreading rumors, John Wayne is actually a 29 year old female from Changchun (northeast China near Mongolia) on a vacation. After she told me her name, Zhau Wei, it sounded like she said John Wayne and she said I was pronouncing it right when I said “John Wayne” fast, and it made it easy for me to remember. The next few days I had 17 Chinese people from John Wayne’s group constantly coming up to me on the cruise asking for my picture and to arm wrestle me.
The second day of the cruise we took a side excursion on another boat within the third gorge that took us to a dock where we jumped on a ancient wooden row boat that 5 guys locals controlled. Later that night, the boat put on a talent show, which was basically the Chinese singing karaoke. One aspect of
Chinese culture I noticed, is that EVERY Chinese person loves to sing. John Wayne and the group she was with stole me away and I basically spent the night with them. Around 1 in the morning we entered the 5 ship locks at the top of the dam that takes us to the bottom. Each one takes around 30-45 minutes and John Wayne and I stayed up for all of them. The downside to that is that I didn’t go to bed till 4am (thats all the details you are getting) and I had to be up by 6am for us to check out, get on a 5 hour bus ride to the train station and finally onto another 15 hour overnight train to Guilin and then to Yangshuo.
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