Wonder Wall.September 22, 2018 in China ⋅ 🌙 9 °C
Its awesome when a wonder, landmark, museum, attraction or place has such a high reputation, that leads to high expectations, and those expectations are easily met.
Such was the case today.
I had a private tour from Beijing to the wall and back. Pick up was at 7am, and the drive out took about 2 hours and 40 minutes.
The route for the day was about 12km of "wild wall" from Gubeikou to Jinshanling. "Wild" in that the vast majority of Wall we'd see today was original and unrestored. The distance from Beijing and difficulty of walk also meant for minimal crowds/company.
The hike itself took around 4 hours.. and aside from the first and final half hour, we probably saw less than a dozen people. Another reason for this is between Gubeikou and Jinshanling, theres a part of the wall that falls onto current military territory and is inaccessible. This means an hour off road "detour" down into the valley through jungle and thick vegetation. This was fun in itself, most notably a snake emcounter and discovery of an old, remote home, abandoned around 30 years ago.
The views of the walls were spectacular, towers seeming to stretch on and on forever. Hiking it was sometimes perilous and nerve wrecking, with very high steep stairs, slippery dirt descents and high, narrow exposed sections of the wall with steep edges. Nonetheless we (my guide Henry and I) completed our route without incident and 4 hours later returned to our driver to head off for a nearby local lunch.
This was definitely the best meal Id had in China so far - Eggs (like an omelette) with peppers, kung pow chicken, pork with onions and onions with chili all with rice. I even made do with chopsticks, not my finest skill. We washed that down with local beer and began that 2.5hour drive back to Beijing.
By the time I got back, after the last three days, my legs hardly carried me from car to hotel bath. Hours later after a little revovery I set out to explore some extra territory and find some dinner. In yet another huge mall, I found just one Western style restaurant, a "sizzler".. which was decent but underwhelming.
Now Im in bed, exhausted, half packed, for my last night in Beijing. Tomorrow morning Ill check out, look to pick up tickets for a bullet train and head for Taiyuan, with Jareds wedding just days away.Read more