On Saturday April 13, 2013 we started our river cruise up the Yangtze River. We boarded our boat below the Three Gorges Dam. Our first "Port of Call" was the village of San Dou Ping and an excursion to the Three Gorges Dam itself. This Dam is the largest in the world. The backwater behind the dam extended for 400 miles upstream. 1.3 million people were displaced by these flood waters when the dam was closed. The cost was in the neighborhood of $28 Billion US dollars. It generates 18.200 Megawatts of power annually. It has two sets of five locks each. One for upstream traffic and one for downstream. A ship elevator is currently being installed. This elevator will allow a ship to enter the shaft and be mechanically lifted to the lake lever from the river level or vice versa. How did China get so many people to give up their land? Easley, as in China, the government owns all land. Individuals or corporations may own the structures and facilities sitting on the land, but must pay land rent as the land itself belongs to the government. Interesting concept? The dam is so massive that I was unable to take any meaningful photos of it with the exception of one set of locks as we crossed the bridge. I have provided a web site URL to follow for more information about this modern day marvel/disaster depending on your point of view.
A view of the locks.
Well, we have our choice of three levels of river boat. Think I will opt for the one on the right.
That afternoon we boarded busses and headed up a narrow road to a n attraction called Tribes of the
Three Gorges" It was an area reconstructed to depict life on the river in past times.
We had actors recreating past times in vintage garb.
The area has some beautiful streams and waterfalls.
These residents have not changed much over time. Yes, they are native to the area.
Note the bathtub ring on the banks. This is the water lever fluctuation between high and low pool. The fluctuatio is 30 meters or about 98 feet. In addition to hydroelectricity production, the dam also provides major flood control as well as providing navigable water 400 miles above the dam. Previously, only small boats could navigate the Yangtze and had to be winched through rapids in several places.
Our first evening on the lake.