Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The Great Wall of China, 25 May 2009

Literally, this thing does what it says on the tin. It is a wall and it is great.

We chose to head to a less torusity part of the wall in Jinshanling, and fro here we undertook a 10km trek to the next village of Simatai. The walk was incredible. To begin with the wall was in a good state, it definitely wasn´t crumbling and it looked picture perfect. As far as the eye could see, there was wall, wall which followed the steady undulations of the surrounding hillsides. It was incredible to think that 2000 years ago all this stone was broguht out into the rural countryside to build this specatular defence.

As we walked, the wall got less well-kept and there were a few areas that were tricky to pass. We nearly killed ourselves (seriously injured ourselves) at one point. We were at a tower and follwoed the path through the tower expecting it to follow, except the path stopped and it was an eight foot drop to the path below. Naturally, we didn´t double back on ourselves to find the path, nah, we jumped the drop and only just managed to avoid stumbling down the scrubby hillside. Ok, not the best idea, i know!

The walk was by no means easy, it was up and down and up and down the whole way. But the psetacular views of the outlying scenery certainly made up for the super-steep climbs.

It took us about 4 hours to trek the 10 km, and at the end we were greeted with an option of zip wiring back to the village or walking another km. It was a downhill kilometer that would not have hurt, but the zip wire looked like too much fun to miss out.

Unfortunately the zip wire looked better than it actually was. IT was a little on the slow side, but it was a spectaculer way to cruise back down to the valley bottom over a deep blue river.

The Great Wall is definitely the best thing about Beijing. The earlier ranking didn´t include the wall because it was just too graet for comparison. It´s juts incredible and beautiful.

The wall is just magnificent. Where we started

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