Well it was another early start for us ( So everyone at home you don't need to feel to jealous). We had to be ready to leave by 8 with all our bags packed, checked out and a packed lunch ready. Then a mimi bus picked us up and took us to the great wall. It was a 3 hour journey on the crazy roads of china where they seem to have no road rules what so ever. On the way we also stopped at one of china's wonderful toilets- (squats) Which are never nice even at the best of times. On the way shirley (our guide) had told us that there were 2 different routes we could do- either the really easy touristy one where we would be hassled by lots of people or we could do the difficult one which is off the beaten track and doesn't really have proper steps. She told us that we all would be able to do the difficult one and that it would be much better, so we obviously went for that one.
The driver dropped us off in what seemed to be the middle of no where, we had another chinese guide who was going to show us where to go. Off we walked, first past some goats which looked pretty evil, then it was up this hill to get to the great wall, this was just the beginning but made alot of us out of breath. We eventually made it to the wall, which wasn't so much of a proper wall more like a half decayed wall. It was quite high which scared Laura who were with as she was scared of heights and she wasn't prepared for this, to be honest me and Tess were slightly scared because it was really narrow in some places and really windy so you didn't feel like you had control. Oh yeah I forgot to mention how cold it was especially with the wind, I had to wear my fleece hood up as tight as it would go and Tess had her pashmina over her head- so as you can imagine we both looked really sexy. After a while we stopped for our packed lunches- me and tess had cheese and crackers with tomatoes- which was surprisingly nice.
So I think you can all imagine by now that the walk was pretty tough, and I haven't even got to the hardest bit. After lunch we had to come off the wall and some of it was military property that we couldn't walk on, so off we went into these random fields. Tess get slipping as we went down as her trainers were very slippy, but the 2 girls with better walking shoes helped us both down.
Once we got to the bottom bit we encountered a local women who would not let us past and she had a pick axe which was pretty scary- luckily our guide shouted at her then she let is past.
As we had walked down and away from the wall we had to walk back towards it and that meant upwards- which was slightly like rock climbing. Then we got to the wall wand we still couldn't go on it so we had to walk against it and again some of the walkways were very narrow and if you fell off it would mean along way down.
Eventually we made it back on the wall which was a bit wider than before, but on one part it seemed like we were doing a vertical climb. We made it though- just to the bit where there were proper steps for tourists and then we got off. We did it in 4 hours including a 30 min lunch break which is really good. And we were the first group to ALL complete it- woo.
After the walk our driver picked us up and took us to our hostel. The hostel only had hot water between 8 and 10 so the first thing we all did was eat- the food was really good, we ate lots- it was more like chinese that we have at home. after the food we all went to our rooms for a bit - we were meant top be meeting up to play cards and just get together, but we were too tired and it was so cold that we just went to bed by 10.
The next morning we had the option of getting up at 6 and going to watch the sunrise on the great wall- but me and tess decided to give it a miss as we wanted to sleep and you had to walk to get there and we knew it would be really cold as well. We didn't have to check out until 12 but there was nothing to do as we were in the middle of no where so we got a bit bored. We then made our way back to bejing, where we had a foot massage. But this was no ordinary foot massage, this also included a shoulder and leg massage and it lasted over an hour in total and we got free food. And what is even better we went it was half price so it only cost us 78 yuan- which is about 5 pound. The only downside was that it wasn't so much of a relaxtion but more of a benifial massage. After that we got food ready for our overnight train, then we thought we would get a cup of tea/coffee while we were waiting, but instead we ended up going to this restaurant and eating some sandwiches beacuse we got excited about western food, Tess had a big banana Sunday instead.
Then it was time for the wonderful night train, but before that we had to wait in the train station for over an hour, the train station was really busy, we went in a room to wait and it just had lots of people sitting on the floor and it spelt of toilets, so we all paid a little bit so we could go in a room and all have a seat. We all thought it would be a lot nicer in there but it wasn't really just more space and didn't spell like toilets. But when we got in there everyone was staring at us- it was not nice sitting there. We eventually got on to the night train and me and Tess were on the top bunk which was 3 beds high, at first we were not impressed by this as we didn't see any steps, but then we found them and it wasn't so bad, but there was definitely not going to be going to the toilet in the middle of the night.