China, Part 10

We woke up on Saturday, October 22, 2011 after a good night’s sleep.  So much better than the last 3 nights in Tibet.

The night before we had decided not to go on the scheduled tour this morning to the Fengdu Ghost City.  It was a visit to some temples that were up on a hill.  We had never heard of it and thought it would be nice to just relax on the boat.  Even though later we heard from those who went how nice and interesting it was, we never regretted our decision.

We did go to breakfast.  It was buffet style.  Surprise, surprise.  Our group had 2 tables in the dining room, and we picked seats at either table throughout our cruise.

After breakfast, Tony and I went up to the top deck.  We were the only ones there, for a while anyway.  It was a rare occurrence in China.  It was mild and misty.  I felt like I was in a Chinese painting.  We took a few pictures, but mostly we just sat on chaises and relaxed.  Eventually Beverly joined us.  We talked with her.  I walked a little around the deck.  Finally we could see the rest of the passengers returning from their outing.

Our next door neighbors John and Jane were out on their balcony, and we joined them on ours.  John had bought a bottle of Chivas Regal scotch whiskey from a vendor near the dock at a very low price.  He thought it was probably a knock off, but he said it tasted right.  We reached over with our glasses, and he poured us some.  Tasted pretty good to us too.

We then went to lunch and heard all about the tour.  Lunch was also a buffet.  The food was pretty good with a nice variety.  It was more civilized eating too.  Serving spoons and more napkins.  Waiters served us drinks.

After lunch we went up to the bar area to a lecture on the Yangtze River.  I’m sorry to say I slept through most of it.  I tried very hard to stay awake, but couldn’t.  After a little break, there was a lecture on Chinese medicine.  The ship’s doctor gave that talk, and she also gave demonstrations on some of the spots on which to apply pressure for certain pains.  I was awake for that.  There were lessons for mahjong, but we didn’t go to them.  We also found out that tai chi exercises were offered very early in the morning.  Even though I would have liked to go, I never went.  Too early.

After the lectures, we sat around and had drinks and snacks.  Since we had a more relaxed schedule on the boat and since there were now only 19 of us, we started to socialize more and get to know each other better.  It was fun.

Before dinner there was the Captain’s cocktail party up in the bar area.  We got dressed up best we could.  There was free flowing champagne and snacks.  The cocktail party was followed by the very nice Captain’s welcome dinner.

After dinner, the crew put on a show for us.  They were talented, and the show was very entertaining.  Afterwards, we continued sitting in the bar for a while watching the boat pass through different lit towns or cities.  One place in particular was really lit up, and we tried to pick it out on our maps.  We asked the cruise manager what the name of the city was.  He couldn’t tell us.  Just another amazing place along the Yangtze.

That night we were told that there had been very heavy rains which caused a landslide in the area of the Lesser Three Gorges where we were scheduled to sail through the next day.  Crews were out there cleaning up the mess.  The decision as to whether we would be allowed to go through would be made as we approached the area.

We went to bed that night hoping that it would be clear sailing the next day.

China 201

next door cabin mates Jane and John


Hessie and  Beverly enjoying the morning despite the mist

China 202

Fengdu, “Ghost City,” in the smog truly

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