Frances contact us for her personal and meaningful voyage.
Frances is a Australian lady in her 60s’, living in Brisbane. Her grandfather Mr. Hedley used to serve as a missionary to China from Wednesday Spet 13th 1905. His ship sailed out from Sydney Australia, bypass Philiphine and Hongkong, disembarked at Shanghai, changed to boat following Yangtze River to Chongqing, finally made to Langzhong. Along the way, he established several Churches which is still in service, and kept good record of diary and letters. With the 100 year old diary, Frances decided to follow her grandfather’s footprint to re-experience what he might go through and see in old days.
We customized a special tour for Frances. Cruise is used from Shanghai to Chongqing with stops at Nanjing, Yellow Mountain, Wuhan, Yichang, Three Gorges, and Chongqing, as Mr. Hedley has made the same stops, the stops carries rich Chinese culture, and did not changed much for century. Later, vehicle is employed to travel from Chongqing, Shunqing, to Langzhong, with stops at Churches established by Mr. Hedley.The last stop Langzhong, is where Mr. Hedley did missionary work for years, and it is a well kept peaceful Chinese ancient town, with no change of folk lifestyle.
Following is picked session from Mr. Hedley’s diary. On 9th May he described the beautiful three gorge at Yichang. On 17th may, he described him helping the boat tracker to pull up their boat in Three Gorge on Yangtze River.
Wednesday 9th May 1906
C.I.M. Mission House Ichang.
Monday and Tuesday we enjoyed the journey immensely, doing a little study on Monday. We were allowed the use of the upper deck and took out chairs up and sat in the evenings talking and singing.
Tuesday evening we were invited into the 1st class for dinner. There were 2 Englishmen besides Mrs Dean and they were very nice, but not Xtians.
About 9 o’clock we entered the Tiger Teeth gorge. It was not one of the very narrow kind being 3/4 mile wide but it was very beautiful. The moon was full. The shores were composed of hills rising almost straight up, and altogether it was an exquisite sight, but then for most of the way the scenery has been very nice. We arrived at Ichang about 10.15pm but did not go off that night. Ichang has about 20 foreigners, missys consul and customs officers and Is growing busier every year. It is beautifully situated opposite some grand rock hills on the other side of the river. We came off this morning being met by Mr Squires of the C.I.M. who looked after all our luggage.
Thursday 17th May 1906
Up at 5.45am breakfast at 7.15. Crossed the river rowing then passed the bad rapid, the current was awfully swift and rushed over the rocks like lightening. Page and I walked and helped pull on the towing ropes. My word it was tough. The boat would not move an inch for 5 minutes at a time and then only move the least little bit.
The ladies walked round and we helped on their rope too and that was worse than the other.
Miss Wilkins was taken very faint here and we had to rig here up on a chair on the shore. She is not very well. When we went on, the ladies went in the red boat.
Yesterday the rope broke in a ticklish place and we were caught in a whirlpool and whizzed right around like a merry go round in about 5 seconds. The men were able to row into the bank and put out a new rope and we soon recovered lost ground.
Today we had our worst experience so far. After passing several swift corners we tried to cross the “iu k’o t’an”. The first time we tried a narrow inside passage between the rocks, but stuck on a hidden rock and started a couple of leaks. After these were fixed up with wool, we tried the big outside passage. The trackers pulled us behind the lee of an immense rock, then when we poled off from this, the current took the boat and pulled the rope from the men’s hand and swept us down at a terrible rate, turning round and round in the whirlpool. I turned with it to keep from being giddy. It was as dangerous a position as was possible to be in, but it was blessed, the peace we were kept in.
Lower down we were able to row into the shore where we anchored for repairs to the boat’s bottom. The ladies were terribly frightened. During the first of the trouble we were having tea.
We spent the evening on shore singing hymns and ended with united prayer and praise for our safety.
Bed at 9.15 or there a outs.