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Himalaya

Day 77: Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge, China 
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Message in a bottle. Mr Feng's connection with the outside world.
Michael Palin - HimalayaThe track continues north, clinging to the side of the rock face, the Yangtze a boiling froth 4000 feet (1220 m) below. At one point a sizeable waterfall comes bouncing off the rocks above us and we have to pick our way beneath it, over 50 yards of wet stones. I'm most concerned about the horses but they're a lot more sure-footed than I am, perhaps there isn't such a thing as equine vertigo.

The stony, slippery path reaches its narrowest point. The other side of the gorge looms so close that perhaps a tiger might just have made it after all.

Then we're descending fast on steep and potentially lethal tracks of crumbling, chalky rock past bulky rhododendron bushes.

An almost unstoppable momentum delivers us eventually to the river as it emerges from the gorge. It's 100 yards wide here and the jade green stream twists and turns and eddies and swirls between banks of bleached brown boulders. We've been told that a ferry crosses here but it seems highly unlikely. There are no moorings or jetties and the water looks decidedly tricky.
Tiger Leaping Gorge, China 
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Ferry Across The Yangtze. Fighting the whirlpools on one of the world's mighty rivers.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 77: Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Country/sea: China
  • Place: Bendi Wan
  • Book page no: 182

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