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A truly great wall

CHINA | Thursday, 6 February 2014 | Views [492]

This is a bit late, I know. I got a bit fed up with the computer at the hostel in Beijing (slow and restricted!) and stopped using it. Soz.

So, it's confirmed. The Great Wall, is, in fact, great! One big tip for it though, no matter if you do a guided tour (which I did) or go it on your own (which many people do)...check the weather!! If you have a bit of flexibility with your date, just do a little check. Make sure you'll actually have a bit of a view of and from the wall and it's not so foggy and slippery everyone is afraid for their lives sliding along the slope-y stones.

So, yes, that was my adventure of the Wall, made it a unique experience for sure! Our little tour set off from the hostel at a bright 7AM and after a few stops to switch vans/drivers and pick up a few more people, off we set for about 2.5 hours to the Mutianyu section of the wall.

Our guide was the lovely Monica, which she tested our sleepy brains to remember a few times on the way there, since we needed it to get into the restaurant at the end of the trip. Actually we didn't in the end but that's beside the point I guess. In the van, Monica was optimistic, telling us the wondrous qualities of the "best" section of the wall we'd chosen to go to. It involved stunning views, historical and also renovated parts, even a sled/slide thing on the way down! All for not too much physical effort.

We arrive, exit the van, turn to the entrance of the wall.....

"Oh it's supposed to look like a dragon laying along the mountains but you can't see anything right now" said Monica, laughing it off. And it was true, the first hour, hour and a half of our wall experience we could see only about 10 meters in front of us, zero idea of what lay further ahead or even beyond the wall (were there trees? A sheer drop? No idea!). At many points we also literally had to hold on to the sides of the wall for dear life as we made our way since the slopes and steps had the thinnest layer of foggy wetness.

Long story short and you can see from the photos I will add, by the end of our trek the fog had lifted quite a bit, the way was not treacherous in the least and although maybe we hadn't seen as much as we could have otherwise, and we hadn't gotten to do the slide (you had to pay extra anyway, saved money!), we were all pretty cheery. Only 3 of us made it to the highest point, though, me, one American girl and a French guy (why is there always a French guy?!).

Yatta! Happy I went, happy I got some decent photos, happy we made it out alive.


PS Ok photos are proving tricky to load for some reason, I'm working on it!

Tags: beijing, china, climbing, mountains

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