Hiking the Great Wall of China

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January 7th 2008
Published: January 9th 2008
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Ready to startReady to startReady to start

Rags is all ready with his warm gloves and local guide. Apparently these women walk the wall every day. They must be fit!
Monday 7th January

After seeing an exhibition on the Great Wall of China in Hong Kong during our visit there in 2002 we vowed then that it was a “must see and do”. Today we did it even though we had to battle with a few obstacles.

The first was getting on the road by 0700 when it was still dark and the temperature -6 degrees. The second was sitting in a small car with 2 others plus the driver and having to travel for 3 hours each way with our knees up around our ears! The third was the actual walk/hike itself; walking 10kms of steep inclines on rough and a sometimes treacherous surface.

As it turned out the last obstacle was the least of our problems even with Judy still trying to get her fitness back after being sick. It just meant shorter legs with a bit of rest in between. Our new boots proved themselves in may places where the ground sloped or was gravelly. We were both pleased with this purchase made in the Czech Republic.

We met the other walkers at Jinshanling where the so-called guide gave us the tickets required for
Only just begun.Only just begun.Only just begun.

The hats and gloves start to come off as we warm up.
entry and told us where to start the walk. That was the last we saw of her until the late lunch at the end where she sat us down at a table and then disappeared. This poor attitude and having to go by a private vehicle that had seen better days rather than the bus expected were the only dampeners on a unbelievable experience.

We walked past 30 of the 158 lookout towers of the Great Wall on our way to Simatai. The Great Wall has been divided into sections depending on what remained of the original and each named according to location. The Simatai Great Wall has been listed by UNESCO into the World Cultural Heritage.

That the Great Wall was the only man-made structure visible from space has been proven to be a fallacy, even a Chinese astronaut confirmed it couldn't be seen.

The going wasn't easy but the views and the wall itself made the effort worthwhile. We felt on top of the world and really pleased that another of our dreams had been fulfilled. It took us 3 ½ hours to walk the 10kms,of the others in the group, all young, only a few walked the whole distance, the rest opting for a short cut which passed most of the wall.

We opted to eat at the hotel on our return as the day had caught up with us and we were stuffed!

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Ancient art of WarAncient art of War
Ancient art of War

The arrows were fired from the top holes and rocks dropped from the lower ones. One side looks over Mongolia, the other over China.
How many more towers now?How many more towers now?
How many more towers now?

We are about halfway here.
More great WallMore great Wall
More great Wall

Stunning views
 A steep climb A steep climb
A steep climb

Judy's legs just about gave way on this one nearing the end.

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