As we had missed our flt to Chongquing, we booked into a cheap airport hotel for an early departure the next morning. We dined on Drunken Shrimp which are “live” shrimp that have been doused with alcohol and then served to your table – they were still grey…
Speaking of food, the choices are vast and so un-Western! We had “Hot Pot” in Chongquing which is a steel pot sunken into the middle of your dining table – you order HOT or Combo and then the various dishes which include meat, fish, veg, noodles, rice, etc. We ordered “Hare Tail” thinking it might be bunny’s tail but no, it was a small, bony, little fish. Pigs’ Brains were Pigs’ Brains – very mushy but tasty. We threw all the various food into the boiling Hot Pot which was full of red peppers swimming in hot oil. WOW – over the top Delicious and HOT.
While waiting for the train, we ventured into a Walmart – OMG – the meat, the fish, live bullfrongs, alligators and many other dried reptiles were there on display. One thing we have yet to see is any farms wih livestock and there is a ton of “street meat”. Jess treated me to “Tongue on a Stik”!! YES – pig tongue on a stik – actually pretty good. There was also quails on stiks, frogs on stiks, bulls’ balls on stiks.
Now in Chongquing with 34 million and 36 celsius. We stayed at the Yangtze River Hoster in a room with 4 other female travellers. After walking and getting lost many times we hit a streetside cafe and had noodles and beer.
We took a bus to Wanchu to board our ship for the Yangtze River Cruise. Yangtze River is the 3rd largest river in the world. We were the only Westerners on the ship and we had 2 teenage boys as our roommates. The next morning we boarded a smaller boat to go into “The Gorges” and sat up with the Captain drinking stick tea. The scenery was spectacular!
The following day we were up at 6 am and off the ship and into dragonboats. Jess and I were lead strokes and we did a 250 metre sprint against another boat and won. None of the people had dragonboated bedore and it was a “HOOT”.
The 3 Gorges Dams are massive and only bus groups are allowed into the site with lots of very tight security – they took our can of unopened beer, a Swiss knife and bottle of Scotch upon entering and returned them 2 hours later at the end of the tour…
In Yijiang we ate at a roadside stand and then took a cab to the train station. The train departed at 11 pm and we were shown our room – it had 2 sets of bunks – 3 levels high!!! I got myself halfway onto the top level and freaked – there was no way I was going to sleep up there – claustrophobia had sunk in! One of the female train staff found me a lower bunk – what a night – the train was jammed, and stifling hot. I slept in my clothes with all my valuables tucked into my shirt!