Water Buffalo

Whenever someone saw water buffalo, a buzz went round the boat.

Fish pens and water buffalo.

Fish pens and water buffalo.

Taking one's water buffalo for a walk, a drink, and a swim.

Taking one’s water buffalo for a walk, a drink, and a swim.

 

Through the wheelhouse window. I was on the port side of the boat, the water buffalo on the starboard.

Through the wheelhouse window. I was on the port side of the boat, the water buffalo on the starboard.

Later in the morning we visited a village where a farmer offered us a close look at his animal.

For a donation, he'd let you take a photo. My donation, my photo.

For a donation, he’d let you take a photo. My donation, my photo.

For a donation, he'd let you take a photo. Someone else's donation, my photo.

For a donation, he’d let you take a photo. Someone else’s donation, my photo.

Next post: a Li River village decked out for tourists.

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Life on the River Li #2

These are the types of boats from which fishing is done by leashed cormorants. I didn’t see fishing with cormorants but it was a theme of the light show we saw later that night – and which will be featured in two posts in about two weeks.

Harvesting greens? weeds? fish food?

Harvesting greens? weeds? fish food?

These small boats looked so quiet and peaceful, but the life must be hard. At least they would not have to contend with ice.

Net fishing.

Net fishing.

Under powe

Under power.

Was this the origin of standup paddle boards?

Was this the origin of standup paddle boards?

Next post: Water Buffalo

Little Boats

The Yangtze River is an important waterway for commerce of all magnitude, from one-person fishing craft to huge barges and fair-sized cruise ships.

In this post are a selection of small boats.  Well, the first one isn’t actually a boat!

Not a boat, but a marker buoy!

A marker buoy!

A hard life on dirty water.

A hard life on dirty water.

On our second day of the cruise we transferred to smaller tour boats to visit the higher reaches of some of the gorges which you can see here.  These two photos show details from our smaller tour boat.

A boatsman repairs a rope.

A boatsman repairs a rope.

Our tour boat's bumper.

Our tour boat’s bumper.

While we were on the tour up-gorge, there were numerous other smallish boats, including ones containing only Chinese tourists.

We did a double take on the fellow at the prow of the boat. Mao Tse-Tung come back to life?

We did a double take on the fellow at the prow of the boat. Mao Tse-Tung come back to life?

When we returned to the mooring of the cruise ship we were met by a friendly mobile shrimp vendor. Judging by the colour and content of the water in the Yangtze, it would not have been my choice for a healthy lunch.

Lunch!  Fresh right here!

Lunch! Fresh right here!

A couple of the Chinese passengers with us did buy these tiny shrimp.

A couple of the Chinese passengers with us did buy these tiny shrimp.

Next post: bigger boats – probably more properly termed ships.

Farming, Fishing and Coal

Rural Yangtze-3218

This post is a selection of ‘rural’ shots taken during our cruise upriver from the Three Gorges Dam to Chongqing.

Fishing weirs (above shot and below) had a wheel which reminded me of a spinning wheel:

Rural Yangtze-3225

Hillsides were steep and some were terraced for farming, though this was not a common sight.  Agricultural land now flooded would have been much more productive and easy to work.  Do these retaining walls really work?  Only time will tell; there have already been major landslides in the three gorges.

Rural Yangtze-3160

Rural Yangtze-3282

Coal was delivered and stored at waterside and hauled up steep hills and over mountains.  It would have been a lot easier before the dam.

Rural Yangtze-3162

Temples or shrines were also seen.

Rural Yangtze-3220

Rural Yangtze-3257

Rural Yangtze-3280

And construction work took place on steep slopes.

Note the switchback trail leading up over the pass and the pack horse at the first turn at the lower right.

Note the switchback trail leading up over the pass and the pack horses at the first turn at the lower right.

A closer view of the previous scene.  Workers finish a retaining wall above the dock and packhorses round the first bend of the switchback road.

A closer view of the previous scene. Workers finish a retaining wall above the dock and packhorses round the first bend of the switchback road.

Next post: Gorgeous gorges

Venice of the East – Suzhou #1

Suzhou is one of the places our tour should have shown us more of. I just looked at the map given to us by our hotel, and can’t believe how little we saw. This was partly due to the questionable logistics of flying us into the far eastern side of Shanghai and then bussing us (and getting us caught in a Friday traffic jam) to the western side of Shanghai where Suzhou is located.

We stopped at one bridge: the Everlasting Bridge (Wannian Qiao) over one fairly boring section of the city moat.  Also part of the site were a gate through a reconstructed part of the city wall (sorry, no photos), and a larger-than-life statue of Wu Zixu.

Everlasting Bridge - going up

Everlasting Bridge – going up

Everlasting Bridge, looking down.

Everlasting Bridge, looking down.

Suzhou is know as the Venice of the East because of its many canals. You can Google ‘Images’ for  ‘Suzhou canals’ to see what we missed and what you should see if you go there.

Suzhou moat looking one way (compass direction impossible to tell with the smog.)

Suzhou moat looking one way (compass direction impossible to tell with the smog.)

Suzhou moat looking in the other direction.   To be honest, I did not notice all the fishers when I took this picture, but I cropped it to show just them because the rest of the view was uninspiring.

Suzhou moat looking in the other direction. To be honest, I did not notice all the fishers when I took this picture, but I cropped it to show just them because the rest of the view was uninspiring.

Across from the fishers. See another tour group in the background?

Across from the fishers. See another tour group in the background?

Dragon boat detail.

Dragon boat detail.

Wu Zixu was the founding designer and urban planner of Suzhou city in 514 B.C.  Historical records suggest that Wu Zixu lived near to where his statue can be found.

Wu Zixu

Wu Zixu

You can find more information about the bridge, the gate and Wu Zixu here.

Next Post: A Chinese Garden in Suzhou