Saturday, June 16, 2007

At last, Wuhan

We have finally arrived in Wuhan. You know on the boat you are in your own world. No TV, radio, newspaper or anything. Plus the countryside and the gorges are like being on another planet. On our first day, when we did stop-Fengdu-The Ghost City-also known as the capital of Hades(no joke, for over a 1000 years they have called it the capital of Hades), we truly were in another world. You have to climb over 400 steps or go up in a chair lift(guess which I did). The walk up was really wonderful, beautiful plants and trees and you could smell the earth-it smelled like red clay! The views were incredible, terraced land where the gorge people grow their corn, potatoes, peanuts and a view of the new Fengdu city. It was built to accommodate the re-location of some of the gorge people. We saw some of the rock carvings on the cliffs, they were re-creations of the originals. The original carvings were cut out of the clifts and put in museums because the flooding was going to cover them up. They have tried very hard to preserve their history but much has been covered up by the flooding for the dam.

On the second day we traveled through the gorges. I have never seen such views. In the river between the gorges one seems very small. We traveled by ferry boat to a tributary of the Yangtze, Shennong Stream. We rode in "pea pod boats" up the tributary and a local guide told us of many of the Tujia customs ( the Tujia are a minority people who live there). The "trackers" who paddled our boat also pulled us over some very shallow shoals with beautiful rocks in the stream. The trackers are famous here and in ages past (and really just a few years ago) they pulled many boats upstream in the Shennong and on the big river. Otherwise the boats could not have gone upstream. The Tujia men were very wiry and strong but not very big. They speak their own dialect and cannot speak English or Mandarin. The water was very clear and they gave us some of the colorful rocks. This boat trip was the neatest thing I think I have ever done. Oh yes, we passed the boundary, it is actually a tributary, that begins Hubei province. I made Greg take a picture of it. He thinks his mom is nuts anyway but I thought we needed to have a picture of it since it was our first "step" into Hubei province.

On Friday we actually toured the Three Gorges Dam. It is big and it will produce massive amounts of hydroelectric power but compared to some of the sights we had already seen it did seem to pale in comparison. We have seen and learned so much, I have tried to write it all down. I want to be able to talk someday with James Paul William about the country of his birth.

Mary Louise


raabw said...

Wow! The boat trip sounds like a once in a lifetime experience. When I see incredible man-made things, like the dam, I am impressed; but, when I see God created natural beauty, I am always blown away. Your pictures and descriptions are beautiful! Soak in as much as you can.


Jeff and Sonya Hodge said...

I can't wait to see all of the pictures from this part of your trip!


Paige Betterton said...

Glad to see you guys made it! We're checking everyday and we will certainly be praying for you tomorrow night! Hang in there! Gotcha Day is almost here!!!


dkmba said...

what are your thoughts and how are you feeling right now? Knowing it is only hours before you finally meet your son.....

thinking of you!
Much love

dkmba said...

ML, Big Greg and little Greg - I posted first thing this morning but it doesnt look like it posted. sorry
What an incredible trip you have had so far! How awesome to see these historical sights in person!

I had tears running down my cheeks and my hair was standing on end when I saw the pic of your room with Paul Williams crib in it. This all made it so real, didnt it?

ML - I received a phone mssg from your brother after leaving one for him yesterday. It sounds like your mom is doing well and the surgery went as planned. Thank GOD! This must be a relief for you. We will continue to keep her in our thoughts and prayers.

I cant wait to hear of your first time you lay eyes and arms on your son. We are thinking of all of you constantly and praying that GOD will watch over you, protect you, and bring you safely home.

Much love!