item(s)£0.00

Ash Dykes: the good, the bad and the ugly of Mission Yangtze

Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, is continuing to make great progress on his current mission to trek the entire length of China's Yangtze River. He has already passed the half-way mark and is encountering a new side of the Yangtze as he goes from very rural to more urban parts of this amazing river.

We wanted to get the thoughts of Ash after getting to the half-way point in his expedition and his observations so far. In particular, we were interested to hear about the food, the people and his observations of the Yangtze in general. It is clear that there has been a good, a bad and an ugly side of Mission Yangtze.

A lot of people in the UK and the western world are into their Chinese takeaways and have asked Ash whether or not the typical Chinese takeaway meals, are the same as the actual dishes in China. The quick answer would be “no, not really”. In China, it’s better, healthier and there is so much more choice, with the dishes being different in each province.

One of the first places Ash visited was Quinhai, a province in West China, which is one of if not the most wildest parts of Asia in general. There are a lot of locals still living the nomadic way of life, herding their yak and moving from place to place. There are a lot of mongols that Ash has come across, living with their families in nomadic tents and yurts. Up here at 4000 to 5000 metres above sea-level, they experience very extreme conditions. It is very wild and isolated. The temperature is below 0 most of the time, and in Winter it hits -30 degrees Celsius or more

So their food is very heavy and stodgy with a lot of calories to keep them energised. Qinghai Province (west China) which has more of a Tibetan food influence, is made up mainly of fats, proteins and dairy products. It’s heavy and stodgy food that is well needed for those kinds of environments, where there are harsh temperatures and it is at altitude. Ash had a lot of Yak meat, yoghurt, bread, milk, butter and tsampa (roasted flour, usually barley flour and sometimes also wheat flour. It is usually mixed with the salty Tibetan butter tea and great to actually carry with you on long hikes).

When Ash's journey started to drop in altitude and he ventured into the Sichuan province, the food started to dramatically change. The climate was warmer, there were more plantations and vegetation, the food was far more diverse and a lot tastier, with herbs and spices added to the mix. Sichuan is famous for its spicy hotpots (originally from Chongqing) and the food here does have a kick.

Breaking into Yunnan, they have everything here with so many great dishes. They have all the vegetables, all the meats; and produce loads of meals, suited for all types of eaters. This has been Ash's favourite cuisine of #MissionYangtze so far.

If you have been following Ash on social media, it is clear that there is an awful lot to experience and witness along the Yangtze river, much of which hasn't been explored before. The Yangtze is officially the third longest river in the world. In fact, it is only a tad shorter than the Amazon or the Nile - only a couple of days extra walking to make up the difference according to Ash.

People assume that, because of the sheer size of it, the Yangtze is very heavily polluted but to say that, you would be very much mistaken. It perhaps is at the end of it and Ash will observe this at the end of his expedition. Ash has walked over 2000 miles so far and the river has been brown at times. But this is mainly because of the heavy storms they experience there; washing down dirt and clay off mountains in the water and turning it that colour. At the moment, Ash is happy to report that it is blue and very fresh, clean, clear.

“This is another shock. I thought I’d find polluted water – but the 2,000 miles of what I’ve done so far, has been quite fresh. It’s blue and there’s lots of wildlife. Now I’ve hit the halfway point and I’m starting to go north-east, towards Shanghai, I will start seeing a different river. I don’t look forward to seeing that. I took a last look at the Yangtze in all its health, nice and blue.”

Ash Dykes

So there is a lot of good work being done that Ash has seen and been told about by the locals. There is a lot of protection for aquatic life and endangered wildlife in particular. Ash only learned a few weeks ago that there is there is still the wild dolphin along with the Yangtze alligator that still habits there; that was originally written off as being extinct.

Ash has walked through the main Yangtze provinces of Yunan, Sichuan and Qinghai so far. Each province has its own different people, dialects, feuds, plantations and vegetation. Ash has experienced a different way of life in each of these provinces which has only furthered his knowledge of the Yangtze and China as a whole. But one thing has remained the same - the people and their manner. Wherever Ash has been, the locals have been so friendly and hospitable. He has been welcomed into the community and has been offered a place to stay and eat wherever he has been. The people always try their best to accommodate.

However, it hasn't always been easy when the people have tried to show their kindness. This 'kindness' has often ended up with Ash being detained and questioned by the police! Ash has gone to such wild places that they don’t know what to do so they just end up calling the police. The police have often rocked up at 2/3 am - not to cause harm but to question him as they are worried for his safety. Ash is aware that they might not have seen a westerner before and this has been part of the confusion. The policed have taken him in but always let him go eventually. Ash has just taken it in his stride and accepted that it has just a part of mission.

One of the main aspects of Ash's expedition was to experience the people and the different cultures along the Yangtze. Ash has been surprised at the sheer number of communities and people that live along and depend on the Yangtze. There are at least 111 cities along the Yangtze, that Ash is aware of, that have a population higher than New Zealand which is staggering. With it being so long at 4000 miles, the Yangtze caters for everyone so you find a diverse range of people that live along there.

The first half of his journey has taken him through China’s ‘wild west’, exposing him to the elements and vistas of jaw-dropping beauty. Now he’s preparing to tackle the urbanised east, where human development dominates and cities are interspersed with paddy fields.

“The first half [of this trip] was always anticipated to be the most difficult. It’s sensitive being so close to Tibet and it’s so remote and wild. The terrain was tricky, temperatures dropped below minus 20C, there were snow blizzards and there was a threat from bears and wolves."

Ash Dykes

The mission got off to a fairly rocky start - complications with permits, visas and his support team have pushed the challenge back by a few weeks. “On the way up the mountain I lost my videographers through a combination of altitude sickness and the extreme cold,” says Dykes. “Then, my local guide was doubled over and I checked on him, his nose was bleeding and he was struggling for breath. He’s a local Tibetan, who lives in a village at about 3,500 metres [11,500 feet] [above sea level], but even he had to turn back.” This was a big wake-up call for Ash and everyone following the expedition to realise the sheer danger and harsh conditions that is encompassed with this mission.

Despite this, Ash has carried on like the true Welsh warrior that he is and was delighted to reach the half-way mark after so many setbacks and difficulties. However, Ash will be facing a different set of challenges as he starts to travel through the more urban parts of the Yangtze. Ash still has another 2000 miles of adventuring through Chinese terrain where he will encounter fresh challenges and amazing experiences along the way. Ash is prepared for what is to come over the next several months.

“There will be different challenges – maybe snakes and spiders. I can’t go trampling on someone’s land so I’ll have to go around and that’s going to be more annoying and irritating than anything else. The river is a lot deeper, so the tributaries are wider and there’ll be more detours. The river is just under 4,000 miles but this will end up being more than a 4,000 mile trek.”

Ash Dykes

Whilst the many changes in scenery, people and food; there is one thing that remains the same on his journey that is always there - his Water-to-Go bottle. He has carried his trusted Water-to-Go for the duration of this mission and his 2 previous world firsts across Mongolia and Madagascar to keep him healthy and hydrated with safe clean drinking water.

There have been many points along this mission where he has been desperate for water and has simply filled his Water-to-Go bottle with water straight from the Yangtze itself and the 3-in-1 technology filter has allowed him to drink it straight away.

His Water-to-Go bottle has been an essential item on all of his travels to provide him with safe, drinking water wherever he is. Not only does it help him save money, but it also helps him to save weight and save the planet by not needing to purchase single-use plastic bottles that we find so often polluting our rivers and oceans.

A major part of Ash's expedition is to travel responsibly and sustainably, and the Water-to-Go bottle allows him to do this. Ash has been explaining this to the people he meets on his journey and is trying to help them become more sustainable as a community. Water-to-Go is the ideal alternative to single-use plastic bottles and we are delighted that Ash is promoting this message on his biggest expedition yet.

Overall, Ash is pleased with how his expedition is going and everything that he is learning about the Yangtze. He is looking forward to the next chapter and will look to keep us all updated with his progress.

Keep track of Ash on his live tracker

So make sure you keep up with Ash on social media as he continues his expedition and experiences the beauties of the Yangtze and China in general.

Back +
Latest News

May 21, 2019

Clean Safe Drinking Water on Ash Dykes' Three World First Expeditions British adventurer Ash Dykes has achieved some incredible feats, from hiking solo through ...

May 16, 2019

We are marking Endangered Species Day alongside our partners African Wildlife Foundation Friday 17th May 2019 marks Endangered Species Day. This is a day in whi ...

May 13, 2019

We are delighted to announce that Water-to-Go Founder and CEO, Dave Shanks, has been selected by the Department of International Trade as 1 of 25 Export Champi ...

May 10, 2019

A Guide featuring the best Travel items to include in your Volunteering Packing List Are you planning on travelling abroad to volunteer for a charity project? I ...

April 29, 2019

We are delighted to announce that through our partnership with UK tour company, Explore Worldwide, we have managed to raise over £2000 for charitable projects. ...

April 24, 2019

Water-to-Go is marking World Malaria Day 2019 along with our partners Malaria No More UK. To find out about our partnership click here. 'Zero malaria starts wit ...

April 16, 2019

Peter's story of how he overcame the issue of safe drinking water whilst travelling Water-to-Go customer, Peter, loves to travel all over the world. He has trav ...

April 9, 2019

Water-to-Go and Ramblers Walking Holidays are delighted to have raised over £1000 that will go towards charitable projects and initiatives that Ramblers suppor ...

April 5, 2019

This List provides 6 of the most notable Benefits of Using a Water Filter Bottle With single-use plastic bottles causing so much harm to our wildlife and the en ...

March 29, 2019

Check out this Guide for 10 Essential Bushcraft items A strong set of bushcraft equipment can be essential on a trip of any type or length. You'll need to make ...

March 22, 2019

World Water Day 2019 is focusing on 'Safe Water for All' This year the UN is focusing on their sustainable Development Goal 6 which is to provide safe drinkin ...

March 18, 2019

A Travel Health Guide designed to Protect you from Illness on your Holidays Making sure you keep yourself healthy whilst travelling is something very importan ...

How it works

REGISTER FOR DISCOUNTS

Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off the website for life.

Your Comparable Products
Terms and Conditions
X

Water-to-Go and its affiliates provide access to the Water-to-Go web site (the "web site") and sell our products to you subject to the conditions set out on this page. Please read these conditions carefully before using the Water-to-Go web site. By using theWater-to-Go web site, you signify your agreement to be bound by these conditions.

1. Your Account

If you use the Web site, you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password and for restricting access to your computer to prevent unauthorised access to your account. You agree to accept responsibility for all activities that occur under your account or password. You should take all necessary steps to ensure that the password is kept confidential and secure and should inform us immediately if you have any reason to believe that your password has become known to anyone else, or if the password is being, or is likely to be, used in an unauthorised manner. Please ensure that the details you provide us with are correct and complete and inform us immediately of any changes to the information that you provided when registering. Water-to-Go reserves the right to refuse access to the web site, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders at our discretion. If we cancel an order, it will be without charge to you.

2. Privacy

Please review our Privacy Policy, which also governs your visit to Water-to-Go, to understand our practices.

3. Access to Water-to-Go

We will do our utmost to ensure that availability of the web site will be uninterrupted and that transmissions will be error-free. However, due to the nature of the Internet, this cannot be guaranteed. Also, your access to the web site may also be occasionally suspended or restricted to allow for repairs, maintenance, or the introduction of new facilities or services. We will attempt to limit the frequency and duration of any such suspension or restriction.

4. Licence for Web site access

Water-to-Go grants you a limited licence to access and make personal use of this web site, but not to download (other than page caching) or modify it, or any portion of it, except with express written consent of Water-to-Go. This licence does not include any resale or commercial use of this web site or its contents; any collection and use of any product listings, descriptions, or prices; any derivative use of this Web site or its contents; any downloading or copying of account information for the benefit of another merchant; or any use of data mining, robots, or similar data gathering and extraction tools. This web site or any portion of this web site may not be reproduced, duplicated, copied, sold, resold, visited, or otherwise exploited for any commercial purpose without our express written consent. You may not frame or use framing techniques to enclose any trademark, logo, or other proprietary information (including images, text, page layout, or form) of Water-to-Go and its affiliates without express written consent. You may not use any meta tags or any other "hidden text" utilising Water-to-Go or its affiliates' names or trademarks without the express written consent of Water-to-Go. Any unauthorised use terminates the permission or license granted by Water-to-Go.

You are granted a limited, revocable, and non-exclusive right to create a hyperlink to the Welcome page of Water-to-Go as long as the link does not portrayWater-to-Go, its affiliates, or their products or services in a false, misleading, derogatory, or otherwise offensive matter. You may not use any Water-to-Go logo or other proprietary graphic or trademark as part of the link without our express written consent.

5. Your conduct

You must not use the Web site in any way that causes, or is likely to cause, the Web site or access to it to be interrupted, damaged or impaired in any way.
You understand that you, and not Water-to-Go are responsible for all electronic communications and content sent from your computer to us and you must use the Web site for lawful purposes only. You must not use the Web site for any of the following:
· for fraudulent purposes, or in connection with a criminal offence or other unlawful activity
· to send, use or reuse any material that is illegal, offensive, abusive, indecent, defamatory, obscene or menacing; or in breach of copyright, trademark, confidence, privacy or any other right; or is otherwise injurious to third parties; or objectionable; or which consists of or contains software viruses, political campaigning, commercial solicitation, chain letters, mass mailings or any "spam"
· to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety

6. Copyright and database rights

All content included on the web site, such as text, photographs, graphics, logos, button icons, images, audio clips, digital downloads, data compilations, and software, is the property of Water-to-Go, its affiliates or its content suppliers and is protected by United Kingdom and international copyright and database right laws. The compilation of all content on this web site is the exclusive property of Water-to-Go and its affiliates and is protected by United Kingdom and international copyright and database right laws. All software used on this web site is the property of Water-to-Go, our affiliates or our software suppliers and is protected by United Kingdom and international copyright laws. You may not systematically extract and/or re-utilise parts of the contents of the Web site without Water-to-Go express written consent. In particular, you may not utilise any data mining, robots, or similar data gathering and extraction tools to extract (whether once or many times) for re-utilisation of any substantial parts of this web site, without Water-to-Go express written consent. You also may not create and/or publish your own database that features substantial (eg our prices and product listings) parts of this web site without Water-to-Go express written consent.

7. Trademarks

Water-to-Go, and other marks indicated on our web site are trademarks or registered trademarks of Water-to-Go. Conditions Relating to the Sale of Products to you. This section deals with conditions relating to the sale of products by Water-to-Go to you.

8. Our contract

When you place an order to purchase a product from Water-to-Go, we will send you an e-mail confirming receipt of your order. The email confirmation will be produced automatically so that you have confirmation of your order details. An automatic confirmation does not necessarily mean that we will be able to meet your order.

9. Product Information.

In the event a product is listed at an incorrect price, or with incorrect information, Water-to-Go shall have the right to refuse or cancel any order placed for product listed at the incorrect price. Water-to-Go shall have the right to refuse or cancel any such order whether or not any such order has been confirmed and your credit card charged. If your credit card has already been charged for such purchase and your order is cancelled, Water-to-Go shall issue a credit to your credit card in the amount of the charge. Although Water-to-Go attempts to provide accurate information, it does not warrant or make any representations regarding the accuracy or reliability of information on this site. Your use of the site is at your own risk.

Whilst we try to keep all our product images up to date - some goods may differ from the image when ordered. All variations or replacements will fulfill the same duty as those that are pictured.

  Loading...