The Yangtze River Journey
and the Lesser Three Gorges
As you go further west into the Three Gorges, you go through the Wu gorge. As you see, the countryside is absolutely beautiful. We started this part of the journey one early morning with the sunrise and it was beautiful. This was a Sunday and that night we docked at the small city of Ba Dong that was quickly crumbling into ruins because it will soon be covered with water. That night as we looked out of the ship, we could see maybe two lights on in the whole section of the city, it was nearly abandoned.  There were 40,000 people living here.
Early the next morning, we headed west again in time to catch the sunrise on the Wu Gorge. It was quiet, peaceful, and wonderful to look at as the light changed with the rising sun.
Despite the peaceful views you see here of the river, it is an incredible hub of commerce and transportation for many of the cities and villages along the way. We saw everything going up and down the river including this coal barge loaded with cattle.
This city really shows the contrasts as you can see the colorful new buildings and housing for the residents of the section soon to be flooded in the foreground.
Part way through the Wu Gorge, we stopped in Wushan to take smaller boats into the Danning River and to the Lesser Three Gorges of Dragon-Gate Gorge, Misty Gorge, and Emerald Gorge. And while much smaller, they were wonderfully quiet and peaceful. A much smaller river (with blue water rather than the silty brown of the Yangtze), we saw many smaller craft, some tiny villages, and some wonderful views of the hillsides.
The Three Gorges Dam project will have a severe impact on the beautiful Lesser Three Gorges as this example will show you on the Dragon Gate Bridge to the right here. When the dam is completed and the water has reached its 175m above sea level, the water will be a mere five feet below the road on this bridge making it unsafe for travel so it will have to be demolished. China will be loosing a major national treasure in both the natural scenery that will be changed forever as well as many temples and pagodas that we have seen on this trip that will not survive the rising river.
From here, End the Yangtze Journey, and On to Chengdu.

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