Joined October 2015 Message
  • Day13

    Beijing City Tour - Day 8

    October 25, 2015 in China ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    We set off really early, to catch the early morning entertainment at The Temple of Heaven, this included checkers, dancing, yoga, working out and just simply relaxing, it was built for someone to go to be sociable, this place is popular on a weekend.
    Shortly after this location , we were taken too Tiananmen square , this was huge and very clean and pretty. I noticed and couldn't believe the amount of secret police and military standing around.
    Opposite Tiananmen Square is the Forbidden City, this is where high powered Chinese people lived.
    We walked observing all of the buildings and patterns.
    Had lunch inside the Forbidden Kingdom all together which was very delicious.
    At the end of this tour , we decided to take an alternative route to the exit to walk through the Imperial's Garden inside the Forbidden Kingdom , and I'm so glad we did!
    After a short Transfer we went to The Pearl market in BEIJING,
    This was an experience i will never forget , was keen on a pair of jeans ,
    but asked for a shorter leg length and was handed them, and requested where are the changing rooms, she pointed to me where i was standing, they don't have changing rooms, well i whipped off my bottoms leaving me in my boxers and tried on the Jeans, they were far too long, standing there for 20 mins in my boxers trying to explain i needed a shorter length. But then got told that length is standard and then we amend it to via a tailor. i didn't have time to do all of this.
    But everybody else done really well and got lots of bargains
    After Pearl Market we headed back home to our hotel , freshened up and headed out to our last night celebration / farewell dinner together.
    The food didn't stop coming , it was delicious but the amounts was generous.
    My favourite was the Peking Duck , they brought the crispy duck in to you and carved it there and then.

    A really nice gesture and end to the trip from Charity Challenge was that we were supposed to get medals for completing this challenge, but British Heart Foundation decided to not bother and put more money in to their fund.
    So we received Jade bracelets with a unique personal message from our Tour Leader. AMAZING and totally un-expected.
    Ive already asked for a list of what tours she will be doing in the future.
    Jade is unique and popular in China. it was very emotional and touching.
    Waving the guys off in the morning . Then my over night train at 5pm tomorrow.
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  • Day12

    Badaling Section Great Wall - Day 7

    October 24, 2015 in China ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    We set off for our last day on the wall relatively early , around 8am.
    As we had got lots planned for the evening to celebrate.
    I could sense mixed emotions , excitement , nerves and sadness due to this adventure is coming to an end.
    By the time we got to our set off point and stretched , we set off at 9am,
    It was 635m pure up hill torture , then 635m down. No flat.
    This was tough but we all dug deep and smashed it within two hours ,
    Pulled out a record time apparently from what our Tour Leader told us
    Lots of tears , hugs and photos were all done at the top ,
    It was such an amazing feeling to get to the top after that two hour climb.
    Nice casual stroll down to the bottom , we were met by a charity challenge finish line , I HAD FINISHED THE CHALLENGE!
    That one was for you Dad!

    Feeling absolutely exhausted and my legs on fire and feel like led ,
    Mr Shay our bus driver got the beers in to congratulate us.

    Arrived in our accommodation , had a while to freshen up before heading out tonight.
    Tonight we surprisingly were going out to a fancy chinese restaurant ,
    Then to a Acrobatic Show which was insane, and lastly for a massage to try and relieve the pain.
    Amazing evening , just what you need after what you put your body through , but i would do it all again !

    Beijing city tour tomorrow! , can't wait. 6:30am start.
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  • Day10

    Huanghuacheng Section Great Wall - Day 6

    October 22, 2015 in China ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    We got transferred to Xishuiyu Village , and begun our days trek along a steep woodland path to get on the wall , this was very demanding and challenging on the legs!
    But once at the top , the views were so rewarding - we saw Huanghuacheng Reservoir and Jintang lake- it was so pretty to the eye.
    This particular section of the wall is completely unrenovated and very remote, it is a very exciting and beautiful, We clambered up and down steep steps, clambered through crumbling watch towers, and fought our way through the over grown vegetation on the path.
    We descended and Ascended twice each in total, we climbed up and over two mountains , and stopped for lunch on the bottom of the valley in between, A local farmer made Rice with Spicy Chicken with veg,
    It was delicious.
    Straight after lunch was torture , it was a horrible, climbing and trekking up hill to the top, then gifted with amazing post card views.
    Going down hill was happily accepted with descending windy slopes , with the odd set of steep steps.
    We had to go down a ladder off the Wall, then a short wood land walk to the Bus to the hotel , stopping off at The Museum Of The Ming Tombs.
    From the beginning of our walk we made a canine friend , a local dog walked with us for all of the 12km - Unbelievable. we named him China.
    We are returning to the same Hotel for the second night , but we are going out to a restaurant to eat , i asked if it was a Chinese restaurant hehe.

    Last day trekking The Great Wall tomorrow. It has gone so fast.
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  • Day9

    Mutianyu Section - Day 5

    October 21, 2015 in China ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

    Woke up feeling a bit soar and achey from the previous days trekking but really positive mind frame , because this particular section is by far the most difficult and challenge.
    I didn't come all this way for a stroll in the park!
    It was a short bus transfer to the beginning of our estimated 6 hour trek.
    The first photo in the album is our arrival point, if you look closely you can see two watch towers, thats our target!!
    So we had an 90 min steep , wet challenging wood land path ahead of us.
    But first time ever i had to perform a Poo outdoors!
    To arrive at Photo 2 , 1000m high , the highest point of The Great Wall Of China , what an achievement!
    The views were unbelievable , we were above the clouds.
    We then wrapped up cold and trekked at the very top of this Mutianyu section this was so rewarding with spectacular views all round us.
    Shortlly along this section we came across a junction where a local was serving red ribbons which you could tie on to trees for all different personal , things got very emotional , very fast. As a lot of the group like myself brought a ribbon and left it there in memory of why there are here. After some group hugs , we continued on.

    Ive bonded really well with all 20 of us , but in particular Emma, Matt , Chris , Harriet and Paul , So much in fact that just before we descended the famous Heavenly stairway , we were suggesting doing another Charity Challenge all together =) I voted somewhere with less steps !

    After the descent from No.23 Watch Tower , we descended down to No.10 ,
    In between there were so really steep bits that made my a bit wobbly, but thats what I'm here for , to be pushed and challenged.
    At No.10 Watch Tower , instead of taking the nice warm cable cart down ,
    We choose to take the famous " Thousand Steps" .
    Literally means that , we descended 1000 steps home.
    A nice fresh subway was waiting for us though , so a happy ending.
    90 minute transfer to our hotel we are in for two nights.
    Laundry Service will be used , I'm out of clean clothes!

    3 down , 2 days trekking to go , over half way !
    Yellow flower city tomorrow.
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  • Day8

    Gubeikou Gateway - Day 4

    October 20, 2015 in China ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

    6:30 alarm calls,as we had to be o the road by 8am.
    Today was a massive challenging 8 hours trekking the Gubeikou Gateway section of the wall which lies between two passes in the mountains in the north east
    It took us approx 45 mins from our accommodation to a small village from where our trek begun.
    There is all kind , or every kind of terrain today starting from early on the trek which builds up as you start seeing the remains of the watch towers.
    We were counting the Watch Towers , as they led us closer to lunch!
    We trekked along a mixture of renovated and un-renovated parts of the wall today.
    The day was long but there were not many steps to come across.
    The main challenge for everybody and including myself was at how narrow and broken up the top of the wall we were walking on , and not getting Vertigo!

    But that is the LONGEST day completed.
    Tomorrow is the HARDEST day. Ha Bring it on.

    We stayed in a really poor accommodated room called Fairyland.
    It had its small issues but everybody survived,its all part of the challenge!

    The surprise entertainment for tonight was Karaoke Bar.
    It was a great laugh everybody had a go , and many soar heads will be felt in the morning !
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  • Day7

    Great Wall - Jinshanling Loop Day 3

    October 19, 2015 in China ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

    Day 3 - First step on the wall...eeeeek.
    Had to wait over a year for the feeling of just performing my first step on the Great Wall of China , the anticipation and nerves were huge!, a sense of achievement and proudness inside of me came over me once i completed it , and then found my rhythm.
    Breakfast at Impressions Inn was at 7:30am, and we were on the road heading towards Jinshanling hoping to arrive at 8:30am.
    But we experienced Beijing traffic, in truth we didn't arrive till 10:00am and on the Great Wall by 10:30am.
    We performed a very "up and down" challenging 12km's. The pictures don't do it justice, but i promise the wall copies the landscape which is not flat!
    Everyone dug deep and we all worked as a team and helped each other out through the tough times and when people were feeling the burn.
    This group has really blossomed and grown more closely only after one day trekking!
    I had a couple of moments where i purposely slowed down so i could have a couple of moments just looking at the breath taking , spectacular views thinking of my Dad,
    As this is the real reason i was standing there.
    Lee a group member recorded and told us all that we performed a crazy 29'000 steps from start to finish.
    After a well earned hot shower , dinner went down well , traditional home cook chinese food.
    We were split in to two tables , and the food was served a spinning table top which was a nice effect.

    Every night we get a surprise in the evening as for entertainment , and tonight's was really good fun and unusual.
    We all had a go at the Chinese Art of paper cutting.
    Really good fun , and I've purchased some examples and kept my disastrous effort.
    Every cutting has a meaning and we were all given Double Happiness, but mine came out Single Happiness ? Have no idea how i messed up slightly.
    Never been top of the class in Art class.
    Going to frame it all when i get back to the UK! Something to giggle back on.
    Its 21:30 here, I'm up at 6:30. So good night.

    Massive challenging 18km Trek Tomorrow. Bring it on!
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  • Day6

    Impressions Inn

    October 18, 2015 in China ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    A family run business in the north of Beijing called Impressions Inn.
    We had a de-brief from our Tour leader Penny.
    Then we got our keys and got buddy'd up and had an hour to burn
    So we went to the bar, and tried Tsingtao , it is home brewed Chinese beer and very tasty and cheap!
    We got waited on for a huge amazing buffet which included an BBQ ,
    there was noodles, rice, kebabs, sweet and sour pork and chicken, boiled and stir fry veg , there was everything and way too much!
    After everyone stuffed there faces after a long day travelling , we had a nice few hours chilling in front of a huge man made bon fire , with some nasty music collection which included Justin Beiber... but of course more Tsingtao .
    We are taking our first steps on the wall tomorrow , we are performing the Jinshanling , a 12 km challenge loop .
    Leaving at 7:30 , got my alarm set for 6:30.
    Im going to hit the hay , has been a long first day , but has been incredible.
    Im in for a special trip if this is just the beginning.

    Promise to upload pictures soon, next stop The Great Wall of China!!
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  • Day6


    October 18, 2015 in China ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    The flight went smoothly , right up until the last 90 mins , we had TERRIBLE turbulence.
    We were scattered all around the plane , so i was sitting on my own.
    I didn't mind , as there was a lot of entertainment and had my laptop to hand.

    The size of Beijing International Airport is just unbelievable from the point of landing to getting to the stand for us to depart the aircraft, took 45 minutes alone.
    It has to be the biggest airport or up there by far.

    I was slightly worried when waiting for my bag at reclaims, as i had trouble when i fly out of T5 with British Airways to Berlin , they had left myself and Aimee's bags behind at LHR! , in the back of my mind i was hoping i wouldn't experience this again or hopefully ever, especially on this kind of trip when you are so reliant on your kit and gear.
    But all my birthdays and christmas's came at once and i saw my bag casually come round the corner on the baggage reclaim and i jumped for joy! .
    So panic over.

    2 hour transfer to our first nights stay - which is called " Impression Inn" in the northern out skirts of Beijing.
    A family run business with good food and standard accommodation.
    We have been informed by Penny , our Tour Leader and Chris - Our Chinese Hiking Expert that this is the "Best" accommodation by far......
    Worried Laughs were performed and heard by everyone.

    Food and drink and lots of mingling to be done tonight.
    photos to follow.
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  • Day5

    Heathrow Airport

    October 17, 2015 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Nǐ hǎo! Nǐ hǎo ma! ( Hello, How are you )
    So The night before my departure day , i did not sleep well at all.
    I had China on my mind, I'm excited and nervous.
    So I'm hoping i can " hit the hay" on the plane towards Beijing. I think from memory it is about 11-12 hours.

    After an emotional goodbye being dropped off at Terminal 2 departures from my Mum and Aimee and my Grandma
    I venture off in to Terminal 2 by myself , this is a big deal for me.
    Its my first solo trip. Got a huge grin on my face!

    So it wasn't hard to find where our group in departures was based, luckily as it is huge! , i just looked for a sea of red t-shirts representing The British Heart Foundation and received a warm Welcome and recognised some faces from whom i had been chatting online to way before this departure date.
    After lots of hello's and smiles , we exchanged names and short brief introductions.
    Which i sensed help a lot of people settle in and feel more comfortable seeing as the group was about 32, to describe it was like going back in time and attending school for your first day again. Everyone's nervous yet excited but you may not know anyone!
    Everyone went to the pub in the departure lounge for a bite to eat and a pint and to continue getting to know each other
    Flight number CA938 , Seat 37k.
    Bring on Beijing.
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  • Day1


    October 13, 2015 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Great Wall of China Trek 2015.

    So if you're reading this and thinking WHY let me bring you up to speed.

    I lost my Dad just over a year ago at the beginning of August 2014.
    I was lost, and still to this day learning to cope with his presence not being here, I don't think when losing a parent you will ever accept it and move on fully.

    I naturally had some time off work to grieve - After the burial, my youngest Aunt found something that she thought that would challenge myself but also raise some money for The British Heart Foundation to try and ease the pain and suffering I encountered.

    She recommended that I registered for Great Wall of China Trek leaving October 17th 2015 through the Charity Challenge website.

    I gladly accepted this challenge, that is laying ahead of me as I type this.

    In order to take part, I needed to raise a minimum of £2850 which I managed to exceed through generous donations & a fun Quiz Night that I organised for friends & family. The support and donations have been overwhelming and I've actually managed to raise £3533.82 - WOW!!!

    Leaving for the big day in 3 days... I'm a mixed bag of emotions... I have the chance to do something incredible....yet on the other hand I've never been on a solo trip, this is my first. Kind of went all out!

    This is going to be an amazing adventure.... keep watching this blog for regular updates (wi-fi permitting!!)

    Thanks to everyone that has got behind me, this is my way of showing your donation was worthy and I really hope you enjoy following me on this blog.
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