Sunday, November 8, 2015

Hiking the Great Wall of China - Part 2

It was a beautiful clear day on the wall and you could see almost forever. I know what you are thinking, why post so many photos? Well, I print out my blog in a book, sort of like a photo album/ journal. I want to keep as many of the best photos as I can for my posterity. So, with that in mind, enjoy part 2 of our day on the Great Wall of China at Jinshanling.

I cannot imagine how much manpower it took to build this. They said they hauled some of the rock and brick with all kinds of animals, especially goats. 

There were about 20 people in our group, mostly college students looking young and fit. Darryl and I sauntered, hiked and climbed up and down along the wall, taking our time and enjoying the vistas. 

We didn't hurry, but we didn't want to be the last in our group either. Call me vain, but I didn't want us to be the "Old People" slowing everyone down, but we still took time to stop, enjoy the view and rest.

The farther east we went the more wild, rugged and deteriorated the wall became.

You have to wonder about the life of the soldiers stationed out here in the middle of nowhere. Probably a pretty lonely assignment.

Mary, who is from Harbin and is studying in Bejing, hiked the last mile with us.

These open holes were located about every 50 feet or so and only on the Mongolian side of the wall. Must be for dumping refuse.

About  halfway through our hike we realized it was Cody's birthday, so we gave him a call and sang "Happy Birthday" to him from the Great Wall of China". It's the only birthday gift her received from his mom and dad this year. 

Darryl is still on the phone with Cody. He had better reception on the wall than we used to have on the Menan Butte.

We walked for what we thought was well past the 5k mark and never did see the exit and stairs leading down to the East Gate. 

We came to this tower which had no stairs to get inside and wondered where we were supposed to go from here when we heard a voice in the distance behind us calling.

We had gone past the exit by quite a ways and had to go back almost 1/2 mile.

We finally found the trail down to the East Gate where we found our bus.

Darryl and I were very surprised to find that the two "old folks" were the first ones to the bus, and we weren't even worn out or tired. Once everyone was on we traveled for just a few miles when bus stopped for a delicious late lunch (part of the tour package) before taking us back to the city. I don't know that I could adequately express how massive, wild and beautiful the Great Wall is, or what a wonderful experience it was for us both! I just so grateful we had the opportunity to see it.

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