| We woke up early to see the Three Gorges, the most scenic part of an
already beautiful cruise. The gorges tower over our boat. Although the
Yangtze is considered a major waterway, the river is more rapids than
river highway. The water is fast and in a constant swirl, and the tiny
whirlpools covering the surface show that conflicting currents lie beneath.
After finishing the cruise in midafternoon, we took a one hour bus ride
high into the mountains. Here, we caught a smaller boat and rode down
a clear mountain stream called Shenglong. Again, the scenery is fantastic,
and we're left to wonder why a nearby town, Badong, isn't more famous.
Sitting high in the mountains, Badong commands a striking view of the
Yangtze and surrounding countryside. We stayed longer than expected because
we missed the last hydrofoil out of Badong. We made a heroic dash, giving the
locals some amusement as a long procession of foreigners ran through the
center of town.