Mission Yangtze: Dykes Races to “More Tropical” Yunnan Province

Mission Yangtze

Briton Ash Dykes is walking the entire length of the Yangtze River, the world’s third longest river and Asia’s longest.

Dykes has now crossed Sichuan’s southern border into Yunnan Province and emphasizes how much the climate, feeling, aesthetic and food has changed to match a “more tropical environment”. He rejoices that he has finally left the 13,000ft-plus, below-freezing regions in which he could not feel his gloved hands when packing his tent. He says that the high altitude portion of the journey has caused him to lose 9lbs.

Sichuan town vista.

He claims that where he is now, below about 10,000 feet, temperatures have warmed to around 59-68°F. He is relieved he has made it out of ‘bear country’ so that bears are no longer a threat. He says he sees a lot fewer yak, and instead more cows, spiders, snakes and monkeys.

A large golden-orb spider, typical of those further south in southeast Asia.

And he is also happy that he has moved on from a region where the foods were mostly starchy, fatty, plain and stodgy to where foods consist of lots of fruits and vegetables.

The scenery around the Yangtze in Yunnan province is also gorgeous with vistas no longer blocked by mountains, and houses with stylized, ornate roofing.

Yangtze River in Sichuan Province, China.

One of the reasons Dykes has been making such good progress is that, particularly in Sichuan, he pushed himself to achieve 40-mile/12-hour walking days. The most recent guide, Alex, claimed that he was in too much pain to continue on. Dykes is now walking alone.

The warmer, more temperate, Yunnan Province environs.

Click here for Mission Yangtze’s base page that explains the expedition, contains the latest news, the best photos, expedition links and previous updates.

The Best Quest provides visual experiences of journeys. One by one you see the latest updates from the best expeditions and journeys currently under way around the world. Click here for more details.

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