During our Yangtze river cruise, we took a day trip up the Long Men
Gorge. This was a nice excursion up a tributary that may have given us
a glimpse of what the Yangtze looked like prior to Dam project. We
took a smaller boat up the tributary for a few hours. The water slowly
turned from the murky brown into a pretty deep green. The cliffs
coming out of the water were towering and sheer, I can only imagine how
spectacular it would be with the water being a hundred meters lower.
Up in the smaller tributaries you will still see some of the lifestyle
that was along the river. There are still small skiffs and longboats
throwing nets and fishing near the rock walls. These fisherman now
have to travel much further in their boats to get to suitable fishing
areas and rather living in the small villages, they now most likely
live in recently constructed high density housing.
Our Cruise ship finally passed through the locks of the mighty 3 Gorges
Dam around Midnight of our last night aboard. This is probably one of
the biggest man-made structures I have ever seen. The 3 Gorges Dam is
the largest electricity producing plant in the world. There are 32
turbines generating 22,500 Mega Watts of electricity… whatever that
means. It must be like the flux-capacitor in Back to the Future.
I mentioned in the previous post, this dam is extremely controversial.
Flooding lands with over a 100 meters of water will no doubt have an
environmental impact. The other major impact was cultural, there is
said to be over a thousand archeological sights and an unknown amount
of undiscovered artifacts including many of the famous hanging
coffins under water. Then there is all the people. Over a million people's lives
were turned upside down by being forced to relocate. On the flip side,
China is the most populous country in the world desperately in need of
clean energy to support itself. Much of the literature, possibly
propaganda, at the dam also sited an improvement in safety by
eliminating floods that regularly occurred as well as stimulating the
economy by improving logistical channels. The whole experience
of cruising down the Yangtze was very nice, although not at all what we
were expecting. At the end of the day, it was not what you would
picture a "cruise" to be in your head, but we are glad we did it.
- In 2008 we (Meggan and Beau) set out to see the world and start a business. Since then we have visited 48 countries and we’re just getting started. Travel and design go hand in hand. Whether we’re on the other side of the planet, or down the street we always find things to inspire us.