Conquering the Great Wall of China – first taste of the wall

I’m back from my Great Wall of China trek something as you know I’ve been working towards since last year. I’m going to split my adventure across a few blog posts so that I can tell you about my experience and show you a few of the hundreds of photos I took.
It was everything I hoped it would be and a whole lot more. I can’t begin to explain what an incredible experience it was; mentally, emotionally and physically challenging – and one of the best things I have ever done. I’m so proud of myself that I achieved it, I conquered the wall!
But I’ll start at the beginning of my adventure…
I set off on my adventure on my own, I’m terrified of flying and sat for the two flights first from Heathrow and then from Helsinki by myself, desperately trying not to grab the arm of the Chinese person sat next to me as we hit turbulence. 
We arrived in Beijing and I met the other trekkers in various queues in the airport as we negotiated temperature and then passport control. The airport is so vast that from arrivals you take a small train to the rest of the airport. We then took the coach to our first overnight home at the old barracks at Huangyaguan. After our first taste of a Chinese lunch at a local restaurant, where we chatted and introduced ourselves, we were told we would be taking a short walk on the wall. Exciting! The temperature the whole time we were there was over 30° and we had been up over 30 hours. Surely it would just be a little walk to ease our muscles? How wrong we were. The short walk was a strenuous two hours on a steep part of the wall, sweat dripping off me and lungs burning I was feeling a little despondent and exhausted. As I reached the highest watchtower we were aiming for I thought I might be sick. It was the only time on the trip I thought that maybe I wasn’t cut out for this.

After the walk, I treated myself to a beer, had a chat with my group and after dinner at the restaurant went to bed wondering what on earth was in store for us tomorrow. I think we were all in shock at how hard that little walk had been, we were all in bed for about 8pm!

Read my next blog as I trek from Taipingzhai back to the barracks at Huangyaguan – would I be feeling any better as the trek really starts going?
Check out my Facebook page for more photos.

4 comments Add yours
  1. Wow, that sounds like a harsh start to the trek! And a well deserved beer! Great photos and looking forward to reading more about it 🙂

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