Wednesday 27th October 2010
Up at 6am, much too early. Our excursion to the 3 Gorges Dam Project was at 8.15. The huge dam was opened in 2008 but will not be completely finished until 2015. It is an enormous feat of engineering. We were really pleased to have seen it despite the inclement weather.
Back to the ship for a prelunch beer before an 11.30 lunch. The usual high standard of food before we bade farewell to our new friends. We had all enjoyed each other's company and had shared many laughs.
As expected we were met on docking and taken to the train station. Our "guide" tried way too hard to sell us a tour for the 6 hours until our train was due to depart. We eventually shook her off and installed ourselves on a seat outside the station. Fortunately it was dry because it was a long long wait. We took it in turns to guard the luggage and walk about.
John and I set off in search of a usable toilet. We found a department store and entered with a spring in our step and a new sense of purpose. We saw signs but they just seemed to stop. We were the only westerners in sight and John was getting desperate after the prelunch beers. Charades to the fore again! I mimed taking my trousers down and squatting. Great hilarity but toilet found..
While we were sitting we saw a sign for a VIP lounge. Given our celeb status we considered our eligibility. How to gain entry? We decided it was too cold sitting out so we would go into the station to wait. In China you need to show your ticket to get in and as we didn't know if we could get back out again we had delayed this. Big mistake! We were eligible for the VIP lounge. Comfy leather seats and warmth.
We felt a bit sad knowing that this was our last overnight on a train before Hong Kong. The guys have got the stowing of luggage down to a fine art now. A couple of drinks then we had an early night.