Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan, China Week 10 2nd - 3rd July 2011
Sorry about all the brickworks. Something (the Metallurgist in me) was niggling away.

I recall similar brickworks design from the London Brick Works (largest in the world at one time and now defunct).

They are possibly ring kilns (Hoffman Kilns after the German inventor). Bricks are successively loaded in firing bays arranged up and down either side of the kiln. The (coal) fire is then diverted to fire each batch in turn. Round and round it all goes.

Once built and started they run continuously. Much better than a single batch kiln like the beehive where the fire has to be alternately lit and damped and temperature control is poor.

The principle is not dissimilar to metallurgical coke ovens and aluminium smelter anode baking.

There of course is a more modern approach for bricks. The tunnel kiln where bricks are conveyed through a tunnel for firing. A process that put the Hoffman Kiln out of business in Europe.

And while talking of beehives.

We finally saw some. Complete with honey for sale.

Back to the Yangtse River again.

This time following it North.

We were a bit disoriented and had a good debate about which way it was flowing.

We are after the first bend, the river is flowing North.

The guy with his arm out is the ticket collector for Tiger Leaping Gorge.

We stopped for a chat and paid him.

Driving along the new road this is about where Susanna's disappointment with the improvements became obvious.

We've experienced it ourselves in many places we visited when pristine and later when developed for tourists.

There's a whole complex of platforms and stairs at the Upper Gorge (middle of photo).

Nevertheless the view from the platform looking up river was impressive.

The rock slide is from the road building.

The low down track is on the Shangri La side and doesn't go all the way through the gorge.

Near the water.

The cataract, and the rock the tiger used to leap the river, is seen as the attraction.

We were keen to follow the gorge further down.

The steps are quite steep, and there are lots of them.

Some people opt for the easy way down (and up).

We were pleased our legs were still up to the challenge after sitting in the truck for so long.

The road was a bit scary.

The steering is on the right which meant "don't look down".

There were also few barriers.

We were camped somewhere below.

Looking upstream again.

The gorge lies between Haba and Yulong Snowy Mountains.

Makes the gorge about 3900 m deep and 1800m above sea level.

We managed some washing and relaxation.
This is the nearest to seeing the top that we came.

The clouds got in the way a bit.

Yes, they are limestone mountains.

But there is also sandstone mixed in lower down.

Its all a part of the same two tectonic plates colliding as caused the Himalayas.

The area is earthquake prone.

The Shen Chuan bridge over a tributary in the gorge.
We walked down into the gorge from the guest house car park campsite.

A couple of hours down. Along a bit. And up.

About 4 hours in all.

The track along the gorge took us through "ray of sunshine".

We aren't sure if it was part of the Tea Horse Road (there are at least two paths to Shangri-La, one through the gorge).

Something as substantial as this track would probably require something like Tea Horse or other significant trade or even mining to spark its building.

We've seen references to one or the other being the origin of the track through the gorge.

We crossed the tributary and looked up at the Shen Chuan bridge.
Then looked at the cascade in the Middle Gorge.
Then up to the ray of sunshine.
Which let us look at the river again.
We saw lots of evidence of mining.

Surface scratchings and mullock heaps. Substantial tunnels dug into the walls of the gorge.

And here is someon's gold panning gear.

We stopped for a chat with this gentleman who was perched on a rock looking after his animals.

We were a bit confused as there were a couple of packs and ropes near him.

They belonged to another party who disappeared under some rocks.

To cap it off there was also someone collecting firewood.

But we did soon find "Daisy" to lend credibility to the looking after the animals story.
Hei Jing, Yunnan, China Week 11 4th - 5th July 2011

Don Robinson Wed, 06 Jul 11 15:28:14 +1000
Thanks for your tremendous efforts in letting us also enjoy your trip. I have spent a lot of time in Asia during the past 25 years (Forest Engineer) and now retired. Your photos and text bring back many memories. I found China in particular a fascinating place. We live in NZ and I am also a regular follower of the CMCA Forum. Not wanting a reply. Just wanted to say thanks.

Puss Mon, 11 Jul 11 12:59:56 +1000
I can't belevie I've been going for years without knowing that.

Sorry, comments closed.