Archives for category: on the great wall of china

Spirits were high when we arrived back at our lodge for the night. The staff’s friendliness and attentiveness added to the enjoyment of the day, and beers were soon opened.

We had two birthday girls on the trek, and a huge cake was produced during our buffet meal (which was a western-style BBQ, with a Chinese twist!) for Ann-Marie and Ann. Candles were extinguished and wishes were made. Then it was out into the courtyard for beers, a bonfire and chat long into the night.  Read the rest of this entry »


From the Itinerary:

After breakfast we transfer to start the trekking on Gubeikou. Gubeikou has long been a town of military significance and an important passage to the capital city. The Yanshan Range winds from east to west and is cut off at Gubeikou forming a natural narrow pass here.

From ancient times, Gubeikou has served as a route of strategic importance, linking the southern and northern areas of the Yanshan Range.

Today’s trek passes through remote rural farmland, and many crumbling watch towers. We transfer back to our rustic Lodge for dinner.

large landscape photo of the great wall of china

Click for full size.

The image of the Great Wall of China snaking its way over jagged mountain peaks, softened only by autumnal trees, is iconic. This was to be world into which the fundraisers would venture for two days. A world mostly free of tourists simply for the fact that the trekking would be on unrestored, “wild” wall. Read the rest of this entry »

Once upon a time there were two dragons. The dragons were brothers. One was white, the other was black.

As they grew older they decided that their home was too small for them, so they went their separate ways. The black dragon worked hard to make his new home beautiful, a place of lushness with trees, springs, waterfalls and pools, a place that would bring life and goodness to the people who lived there.

The mountain god saw his hard work and gifted him a string of 18 pearls which he threw into the valley that the black dragon was working hard to make into a place of beauty. Read the rest of this entry »


Today the trek moved firmly onto the restored Wall in Mutianyu.

The Chinese government has spent time and cash restoring many parts of the Great Wall, turning them into incredibly busy tourist spots. We were told that the part of the wall we were tackling today was favoured by Hollywood celebrities.

We didn’t see any.

What we did see were thousands of Chinese tourists, young and old.

En route to the day’s trek, one of our guides, Michael, explained the Chinese policy of “birth control”, the idea being that since the 70s Chinese couples are only allowed one birth. He explained that while this idea was to control population, the country has gone from 700 thousand inhabitants to over 1 billion in 35 or so years.

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Warming Up and Setting Off

Our journey towards our first day of trekking started on the coach as we ventured out into traffic so heavy that it was featured on CNN News. What should have been a journey lasting 30 minutes at most, dragged to well over 90 minutes.

That’s what happens when a country with over a billion inhabitants starts a national holiday. Read the rest of this entry »