Ghost City, Massages and Welcome Parties

Trip Start Mar 26, 2010
Trip End Apr 11, 2010

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

I found it quite weird sleeping on a moving ship. At some stages during the night it felt like I was going to fall out of my bed because of the tilting!  In reality I don't think it tilted that much but was just the heightened sensation of the movement and having my eyes closed.  We were woken at 7am by very loud Chinese music blasting through our cabins.  I think it was meant to be a soothing way to wake up but I will be ensuring mine is turned off for tomorrow!

We visited the mythical Fengdu "Ghost City" early morning.  Legends says that it is one of the 72 graveyards for Taoism. Tao believes when people die, their spirit will gather there and is considered to be the equivalent of our hell.  When there you have to pass through three gates and pass three test.  If you pass you are reincarnated or go to heaven.  If you fail you are stuck there and tortured for eternity.  We met a lovely old man who was selling hats for 5 Yuan (5p) who danced, posed and generally entertained us while we were there.  We all found it a much nicer and more effective selling technique than the other aggressive styles we have come across so far.

Back on the ship my new Lithuanian friend Emma talked me into booking a Chinese massage and managed to negotiate nearly 1/3 off the original asking price.  I was a bit reluctant to book after some of the Beijing massage horror stories some of the girls on our tour had shared with us earlier in the week.  All involving nudity and extremely firm massage EVERYWHERE.  I also had a bit of a dodgy experience with massage in Mumbai airport on our way to Thailand so was thinking I’d give it a miss!  I’m glad I did it though as I now feel extremely relaxed.  It was a very firm massage that involved a lot of slapping and pulling of arms, fingers and legs but brilliant.

I spent the afternoon relaxing in the sun on my balcony watching the beautiful banks of the Yangtze river go by.

After dinner we had a little party in my room where I drank a disgusting bottle of supposedly Californian wine.  Emma taught me how to master Soduku and Chris and Deanna taught us how to play poker.  Emma and I then went up the the “Ballroom” for the welcome party.  By this stage it was only the Columbians, Brazillian, Spanish and Germans left who had all been drinking vodka for sometime so were all pretty drunk.  Emma only stayed for one drink but I stuck around chatting and dancing until they kicked us out at midnight.  Good fun  :)
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