In City of Canals, Dykes Marks End of First Chapter
Dykes is marking the Chinese city of canals, Lijiang, as the end of the first chapter of his journey.
This last section across the northern Yunnan Province has been marked by unexpected adventures and beauty. Dykes was stopped by police who warned him that a section of the Yangtze had been flooded due to a landslide. This resulted in water levels 60 feet higher than normal and villages having to be evacuated. Few people ever walk this section and the police advised against walking further.
Dykes decided to wait it out a few days in a village but it soon became apparent that he had to make a detour around the region. Although most of the river at this point is just under 6000 feet in elevation, he was forced to cross the bounding mountains which were over 10,000 feet. This forced him to climb for 2 days and to once again encounter snow and freezing temperatures. He was also forced to spend a day eating nothing but a bowl of instant noodles. He described the forced detour: "I’ve been battered during this section, crazy elevation and very lonely, but the views are forever changing and always spectacular."
During this last section, he encountered Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest and most beautiful canyons in the world, bounded on each side by mountains of 17,000 feet. He also encountered what is called "the first bend of the Yangtze" where it alters its course toward Southeast Asia (like the nearby Mekong), and instead turns in the direction of Shanghai.
Then it was on to the second bend of the Yangtze before he reached the city of Lijiang. Dykes said that this chapter of the journey was full of challenges and difficulties though he's now a month ahead of schedule. Having finished this chapter, he will now take a few weeks to take care of visa extension, business issues, and recouping before he begins the next chapter.