Today we woke up to the stinky smell of gasoline laden paint. The smell pervaded our room and made us choke. Then we escaped by going to breakfast. After breakfast we were pleasantly surprised to experience the Shennong Stream. This area was once inhabited by the ancient Ba people, who hung their coffins up in the air on the sides of the cliffs. Very interesting. We got to see two of these coffins. Most of them are no longer visible due to the rising of the Yangtze River. We took a ferry up the stream and hopped onto little “pea pod” boats rowed by five local dudes. These dudes are in amazing shape because they had to row and then pull the boats complete with 15 passengers upriver. We wore life jackets and melted in the sun, until we reached the section of the river that had clean cool water and shade from the cliffs. The view was spectacular and our local guide and the men sang their traditional songs while we floated back down river. The whole experience was super amazing and made us thankful that we had opted for the tour that included the Yangtze River.
We experienced our first Chinese massages today for a whopping $40. Pounding, slapping, and pressure points seemed to be the defining elements, but it was lovely nonetheless.
Val bought some fabulous paintings from an artist and is very excited about them.
We are very excited to experience the crew's masquerade extravaganza tonight after dinner. Jessica is wondering when we will be able to do a little Karaoke.