24.08.2012 22 °C
Friday, August 24
We got up early in the morning and skipped breakfast to go white water rafting. The drive from Zhangjiajie to the entance for the rafting took 45 minutes down a long, winding, country road. We purchased our tickets only to find out that the price did not include a return fare, so we paid the extra 100 RMB ($15) to have them give us a ride back to the car.
We donned our flimsy life jackets ( although they didn't look like they would support me if I fell in the water ), bypassed the purchase of water guns or pots which were used to assist in getting other boaters wet, and boarded the rubber raft. We were soon joined by 8 local toursists, all armed with water guns and pots...I knew where this was heading!
We were the first boat to leave and we started off slow, a gentle float down the lazy river. As it turned out, the lack of rapids were over-shadowed by the beauty of the cliff walls, which stretched high above the river and were mostly covered by bushes and trees. The boat was motorized and it wasn't long before our guide directed our boat toward the another boat, in order to instigate a water fight. He was successful. We participated by getting wet.
After we were fully soaked we continued down the river to a waterfall that was flowing over a cliff-edge into the river and the guide decided to give us a shower, because we weren't wet enough. This was followed by a couple medium-sized rapids before we were put ashore on the river for pictures near another beautiful waterfall. After all of the other 8 boats had arrived and left the stop, another guide took us back to our car in his boat. Fortunately, by the time we got back to the entrance, we were almost dry again.
We headed back to the hotel, showered, checked out of the hotel, had a quick lunch and we were on the road again shortly after 1 pm.
By 10 pm we rolled into Nanyang, checked into the JinJiang Hotel and had a late supper.
Tomorrow we will be heading to Beijing to see the one attraction that most everyone comes to see in China.