Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Boy, That Wall Is... Great!

Third time out, third location.
This time it was a school field trip w/ gr 7's and 10's, to a spot 120km outta BJ, called Simatai.

This spot is quite a bit further out than the other spots we've hit, and the wall is way less crowd-friendly. Meaning at points the wall has no, uh, walls on it. And its steep. Even a touch crumbly at points. The elevation gain is pretty huge in a short time. The great wall finally felt as epic as it should be.

We hiked up w/ the students. But then we were told we couldn't go any further and the kids turned back. Then a handful of staff continued on up for another 1/2 hour or so, which took us up to the 12th tower: the official end of the line for fear of a $30 fine. And security dudes accompanied us to keep an eye on us (and take group photos).

Anyhow, we were late and frankly getting quite tuckered. So we hiked down, got lost once, and decided to take a zip line and boat the rest of the way back to the parking lot. (scary? No, but very pleasant).
Apparently you can camp out on parts of the wall for overnight treks, which i may entertain at some later date.

Aside: it was an overnight trip, and we stayed in a guest house of sorts. H and i slept in a super hard bed that was literally made of brick. It had to be, considering that there were hot coals or something underneath, emanating heat all day and night.

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