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The Great Wall of China

a truly hair-raising experience

sunny 36 °C

Next morning, we got up at 3.45am to get up to the restored part of the wall for sunrise. We grabbed our torches and trotted out into the darkness, wondering what the fuck we were doing. We scrambled up a rocky pathway for about half an hour to reach a crumbling archway with a restored section of the wall to the right, and an unrestored (not open to the public due to it's unsafeness) section to the left.

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We hit the restored section first as it was in better condition and it was still dark. We plodded up lots of very steep slopes and steps for about 45 mins until we came to a crumbly archway where we sat to watch the sunrise. There was a magnificent view of mountains all around us, the wall behind us and the resevoir below us. It was amazing.

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The walls and hills looked gorgeous in the sunlight.
We lapped it up and took a few pictures and I ate a delicious banana. Michelle lost hers on the wall. :D
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After a while we headed back to the beginning and headed left up the unrestored section of the wall.

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On this bit we'd have to climb and scramble our way up a rocky bushy semi pathway and through 10 delapidated towers. After the 10th tower, the wall falls away to nothing and it's too dangerous to continue as it has sheer drops on either side.
Tower 1 was easy enough, in fact all of the unrestored section was a lot easier to walk on than the restored section. it was more comfortable and natural.

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Poor Michelle's feet and ankles were in bits so we took our time trotting along. They looked so sore, but I wasn't allowed draw attention to it - the junction theory and all that! ;) (anyway when I did, she told me to shut up!! ) :D lol.

The second tower was a bit difficult as there was actually no way to get into it other than to haul ourselves up and into the window over a sheer drop. hmmm.

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I wasn't sure if we could do it, and Michelle is terrified of heights, but we didn't want to give up! So I had a go and pulled myself up and in fairly easily enough. (Don'tlookdowndon'tlookdown). It actually looked scarier than it was. Michelle took a few minutes of deep breathing before gritting her teeth and going for it! What a trooper. She was up and in the tower in a matter of seconds. Yahoo! There was some high 5'ing and hugging and on we trotted.

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The sky was so blue and the sun was belting down. The views were phenomenal and there was not 1 other human being on the wall apart from us 2. It was awesome.

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The next tower was also a bit hairy and the pathway gradually got more rubbly and dense with bushes and trees, but it was fairly easy going. We passed through 7 towers by 8.30 am, before turning left away from an even more delapidated wall trail going the other way.

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Towers 8-10 were ok too, but after that the wall started to fall away and became a very steep rocky slope down hill, with sheer drops either side, and a whopper wind whipping through our hair.

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We follwed the wall down to a forest and when we looked back at what we had descended already, we got some pretty shaky knees, but were impressed with ourselves. It looked EPIC.

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At this point, this is where we SHOULD have gotten off the wall and scrambled down. Michelle did suggest this, but I thought we could keep going down to the car park. I was wrong. The wall continued for a bit, but then fell away completely into dense mountainous rock with no way of getting down it.

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We decided to jump off and scramble down the mucky foresty part of the wall on our arses. It was so steep, we had to sit down and scramble/slip/slide all the way down. At one point, I didn't think I could actually go any further. I asked Michelle if she could go back up, but she said no, so I had to have a stern talking to myself and my jelly legs and tell them to get the fuck on with it!

I was sitting on a big rock with what looked like nothing underneath it. ''GOODFEFFINJAYSUS'' I thought to myself. It was pretty hairy for a while there, and I thought we might get stuck there on the side of the mountain! But after a few deep breaths, and another 20 mins of sliding down on our arses, we eventually got to the car park. It was a bit tense and we still had 2km to walk back to our guesthouse for breakfast. Poor Mich's feet were even more wrecked and covered in cuts from the boots but we eventually got back to our gaf after a good 6 hours on the wall.

We had a delicious breakfast, a celebratory beer (10am beers - nom),

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a snooze and caught the buses back to our hostel in Beijing, to grab our bags and head for the night train.

EPIC DAY - We'll always have the wall Mich. ;) xx

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Posted by squeakylee 23:40 Archived in China Tagged great beijing wall scary dao zhang koe unrestored Comments (0)

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