I definatly kept the best for last, I just loved the wall!
As the Simatai part is closed for renovation sine 17th June, the bus took us to another part, Jinshaling, apparently more authentic. Only the first 5 or 10 minutes were renovated, then the ground became very unequal with briks and sand. It definatly isn't an easy hike as most of the time it's steep up or down. But it's a magnificent view, you see the wall going over the hill. I was so happy that I changes my date as we had the perfect weather, nice and sunny.
Before Simatai closed, this was one of the least visited parts of the wall, this will probably change now. But whatever you do, don't go to Badaling as that is the most crowded part of the wall and there's no fun in constantly have to wait before you go up or down. Jinshaling wasn't that crowded, we mostly saw other Western tourist. There was an English group who did a charity hike of several days on the wall, great idea. At more or less every tower you can find someone selling something to drink or Mongolian woman follow you
in the hope that you will buy some souveniers. Best way to deal with that is just say you are not intrested, if you say "maybe later", they will stay with you the whole way.
It took the bus 3 hours to get there and sadly enough we only had 4 hours on the wall. Just didn't make it to the lakes as we were afraid that we wouldn't make it back in time. As we were there with a whole bus and you meet people at different places, you end up talking to more or less everyone whenever you try to cacht your bread.
Sadly enough, the hike is also very dangerous. One of the girls who was on our bus fell and got a very deep cut in her knee. She was lucky that the charity group was behind her and that they had a doctor who could give first aid and bandage her. Strangly enough she fell on a rather easy part of the wall, a flat one. But she couldn't walk anymore so our guide (lady of the bus, she waited downstairs) had to come up and phone some people to get her down.
I so hope for her that this wasn't the start of her vacation as she needed stiches and prrobably would be in a lot of pain for the next few days. But it also showed the good side of everyone. She was helped by a lot of people...
Anyway, if I make it back to China, I'm gonne try and find a way to stay near the wall, it's possible so that I can see there a sunrise and sunset. It was a tiresome day but a great hike!
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