First of the Three Gorges: Qutangxia.
This shot isn't the best but, in my defense, it was taken
out the window of the very cramped pilothouse of the
speedboat we were on. The captain agreed to let us in there
to get a better view of the gorge. Other than the captain's chair
and the instrumentation, there was barely
any room to stand. I had to lean out the side window and try to
point the camera straight ahead into the wind.
Speaking of the boat, it was quite an experience. Uh, let
me rephrase. It was quite a bad experience. We decided
to do what the locals do and take a speedboat (didn't seem
particularly speedy to me) between
Chongqing and Wushan. The boat is an old Russian-made one and is
in horrible shape. We got to the docks late and had to sit in the
back of the boat and it was like a torture chamber in there. The
engine noise was deafening and the room was filled with the
nauseating smell of engine fumes. I really thought I was going
to be poisoned from breathing in so much toxic exhaust.
On top of all that, the boat broke down mid-way and we had
to switch boats in the middle of the river.
Two days earlier we were in the lap of luxury in Shanghai
and now we were trapped in a dirty, third-world-looking boat,
breathing in toxic fumes, regretting what had seemed a
fun idea to travel as the locals do.