Great Wall Hike

Trip Start Jul 04, 2007
Trip End Jun 01, 2008

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Today we were on an amazing trip about 4 hours north of Beijing a part of the Great Wall which is not as touristy yet and much more authentic then the popular tourist bit at Baldaling.

We took a local bus/minivan up to Jinshanling from there we hiked 10 km to Simatai.
This sounds like an easy task - and even though we are used to hiking in the alps we were absolutely exhausted at the end of this tour. Stairs up and down,up and down, up and down...and sooo steep sometimes that you had to use hands to climb up one huge step.

Every 100 meters (328 feet), there is an enemy tower each of which is about ten meters (33 feet) high. In total there are 24 watchtowers between Jinshanling and Simatai - we counted them and at the end we couldn't wait until we reached the aim...SIMATAI.

We calculated that each of us must have drank about 5 liters of water and the first time we were very please if three Chinese women came up to us saying "Water, coke,....postcards" well we went for the water option. Amazing how these women climb up here every day to catch these few tourists on the hiking route. This is really not very touristy here but the few we saw looked the same exhausted as we felt. The humidity and heat was unbelievable that day, at least for us who weren't use to the different climate as yet.

the view was due to the mist not as great but still amazing, we took some great shots which you can see below. To see the wall sneaking away over hundreds of hills and the thought of how long this wall is makes you believe in the "impossible" - breath taking really!

puhhh - What a relieve when we reached Simatai. The best of all was that we didnt have to walk down into the valley - we took a toboggan down over a river into the valley where a boat was waiting for us to bring us to the next village.

What a day! This was an experience we will never forget and our friend Soh Xiao Wui enjoyed his Greata Walla as well - he said he had the best time of his life, and looking at his cheerful face we believed he did!
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