Sun warmed quickly but through thick smog haze. Cleaned up coal dust that had come inside vehicle, rubber and plastic mats, steps etc. Requested NAVO vary our route to same destinations via highway rather than risk more provincial roads in mountains – frustrated not to be able to send it though without good internet!
|Ah - here's the industrial China the world knows...|
Continued to Yangtze Gorge Dam wall, had to wait over an hour beside ticket office for clearance for our vehicles into carpark area (heavily controlled by military). Through the barrier we watched the filming of a training video, marching, erecting and guarding barricades, bomb checks under vehicles, anti- terrorism vehicles (they didn’t think about camouflage with their white walled tires!).
Finally got permission (via personalised laminated parking permits!) to not only drive in, but also to camp overnight. Grabbed a quick lunch, caught bus to viewing platforms (even had outdoor escalators to top of hill - very impressive), watched shipping vehicles progress through locks, to dam wall, China’s longest (3rd longest in world). Visited the sculpture park and museum, returning late arvo. Certainly an impressive engineering feat, busy waterway with shipping corridor, massive hydro-electric scheme (shame today’s view spoilt by smog).
Lovely staff kept restaurant open, but came out to find we had been denied permission to stay after all – sigh! Packed up hastily to move on as dark fell. Fortunately Andy found a campsite nearby (now nicknamed “2x Park Campsite”), and after a discussion with a passing drunk, answering questions of the evening walkers, we were finally free to open up windows, hang out washing at last, shower, and climb into bed.