Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Row, row, row your Boat

We passed through the first of the Three Gorges the next day("The most beautiful," said Harry; they always were "the most beautiful"). After Milford Sound, I was not impressed. Indeed Kiwi Adele voiced it well. "I've been lucky to grow up in New Zealand. This is par for the course to me." And it was to me too. Having said that the water level is70 to a hundred metres above what it once was (thanks to the dam). I would imagine that then they were something to behold. Anyhow we passed through monkey territory and by 'Hanging Coffins' (a coffin in a cave), before we made a stop for a cruise on a smaller boat through the Little Gorges.

The smaller vessel was packed with Chinese and the loudspeaker (as on the waterfall bus) was incessantly streaming out commentary at an unbearable volume. Everyone in our group despaired of this noise. How one woman can talk so long without drawing breath amazed us all. And her commentary went on for the six hours we were on the trip. The exceptional breaks we had from this noise pollution were when we stopped to visit a small village market, and when we disembarked to board smaller boats again for a trip down some smaller gorges. Then we had some noise of a very different nature. First off some mountain people played pipes and sang, serenading us from the banks. Then our pilot was convinced by our Chinese contingent to burst into song. Once he sang the Chinese themselves broke into football supporter choruses. When my group began "Row, row row your boat", I nearly jumped overboard, but it was great fun. It was painful to go back to Iron Lung Woman on the main vessel.

Tempering my good humour all this time, was a cold I'd caught at the monasteries. Without my usual barrage of vitamin c supplements, I felt it getting worse.


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