Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kayaking in China

Kayaking in China....

Kayaking in China with our Chinese friends was an opportunity not to be missed! Our first excursion is on the Huang Pu River in an area where large barges on the main river transfer sand to smaller barges that can navigate the maze of narrower waterways that break the flat land into a mosaic.

Paul watches sand fall into an already heavily laden barge.

A line of moored sand barges stretch into the hazy distance...

We turn from the main river into a canal and explore a route through small villages and farmland

Richard passes a pig-pen on the left and chickens to the right, and heads for the setting sun.

We pull from the river near a bridge where our truck driver will find us. Jasmine (left) and Young play with their shoes while they wait.

The Bund... Our second trip proved to be more spicy! Finding a place to launch in Shanghai close to the historic Bund district is not easy! But the rewards made it worth the search. At night the tall buildings of the Pudong district across the river are lit with colorful lights. Brightly lit ferries and tour boats cross paths with commercial barges and ships, while house-sized TV screens on barges show adverts!

The busy traffic kept us dodging, while wakes rebounded from the river walls and docks. The five of us kept close together for safety; five sets of eyes on the lookout for the next boat sliding away from a dock into the darkness.


Lina and Nigel... (with Richard, Paul and Staffan)... our truck driver somehow left all our paddling clothes at the factory and brought only kayaks and paddles...

Eventually we were spotted by police, and two police boats with sirens and flashing lights cornered us agaist the sea wall. With searchlights trained on us they shouted instructions through a megaphone in Chinese. We never made it back to our launch place.

On the phone, our Chinese legal representative translated for us. We were put ashore from the police boat onto a ferry ramp. Free again, we retreated with our kayaks to the nearest street.

(the group from left; Staffan, nigel, Paul, Richard and Lina.)


PeterD said...

Sounds like an exciting trip. Not sure I would want to touch some of the water there, though...

Did the police say why you were not allowed to be paddling there?

nigel said...

in reply to Peter... the police did not speak English and we don't speak Chinese. Our legal representatives said that although it was technically not illegal; just because there's no law specifically against it doesn't make it legal. (maybe it could be seen as dangerous?)

Kri Kri said...

It looks like an amazing trip! It is something that I always wanted to do!

R2K said...

Wow you paddle everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Hi nigel, well done on your trip! Im glad someone had the balls to do it, haha : ) A friend and I are planning on buying inflatable kayaks and travelling from Guilin to Yangshuo and maybe onwards down the li river. We've been told that the police will stop us however any more information is scarce. We were also planning on camping out alongside the river...Any advice from your own experiences on how we should tackle this endeavour>? Thanks,

Anonymous said...

G'day Anon,

I've done the trip from Guilin to Yangshou in a Sevylor K2 inflateable and camped along the way - best trip of my life. Feel free to contact me at andrewscottbatty@gmail.com for detailed info.


Andrew, Australia