Just finished hiking about 8km of the Great Wall. What an experience - so many feelings going on right now - it was absolutely breathtaking, so peaceful an beautiful up there it just makes all your worries go away. Except the one about whether your body is going to hold up to the end! My knees feel like they did after the bondi to coogee walk following the city2surf - not a pretty picture!
This section of the Wall is one of the least restored, steepest and consequentially one of the quietest. Other than the mongol farmers trying to flog off water, coke, beer and souvenirs, and one Beijing father/daughter combo, the group of five of us were the only ones on the wall today.
Some sections were sloped at 70 degrees and what the Chinese call stairs were more like trip hazards! It really was a tough climb, and I mean climb - felt more like rock climbing at some points than hiking. I would love to do some other sections to compare...
It was such a strange sensation also to be sweating but cold at the same time. Despite the sun and blue sky the wind was bitterly cold and made my face numb.
Such a glorious day now with the sun shining, it is a shame to be in the mini van again heading back to Beijing.