The Great Wall, an incredible Adventure – Day 1
I had the chance last weekend to spend 2 incredible days on the Great Wall. My initial request was to avoid these tourist places where you can see dozen of buses for 300m walk on the Wall, I wanted something different. Few search requests on Google helped me to find a local agency, Chinescapades, which plans ‘Wild tour’ around Beijing. All the details about this agency are at the bottom of this page.
After few emails, I accepted the proposal of Timothée, our local guide who is currently french too :), for a 2 days hike with one camp night on the Wall. I didn’t have any hiking equipment so I went to Decathlon to buy some necessary stuff (sleeping bag, matress and backpack). Note that the prices in this store are really cheap, I will go back to buy other sport equipments soon.
I went to Donzhimen on Saturday around noon with my brand new hiking equipment to meet the others adventurers. We were 5 people ready for the trip: one guide’s Chinese friend, two french tourists, the guide and I. We already had a good time in the van on our way to the Wall which was a good sign for the weekend.
We arrived at our starting point after 2 hours in van. We put some food & water in our backpacks to be sure that we didn’t miss of anything. A first 30 min ascent walk brought us to the Wall. These first minutes were already incredible with the Spring colors of the vegetation.
Only few steps on the Great Wall confirmed the adventurous side of our trip. I needed my feet and my both hands to go through the first ascent. Half of the steps have been destroyed on this staircase. Note that this part of the Wall is not officially opened to the public.
We reached General’s Tower after 2h30. This place can be nice for our night but we decided to go further on the Wall. It was still early and moreover an other group was just behind us and planned to reach the same tower for the night.
We met the first real difficulties on our way to the next Tower. Firstly, weather started to be really bad with a mix between rain and snow during 20 min. Then, we needed to ascent the ‘Stairway to Heaven’, real climbing. Fortunately, our guide planned this and brought a rope for our security.
We arrived to our goal one hour later to see a beautiful sunshine on the Great Wall. Amazing moment…
As the night was windy, we set our camp along the Wall to be protected. Unfortunately, the wind was cold and swirling. Even the fire was unsuccessful to warm our tired bodies. Some ‘douceurs’ bring by Tim (red wine, charcuterie, french bread) warmed up the team and we had a nice and friendly evening.
I noted for my next hike that the Chinese nights can be really cold even if the temperature reaches 25°c during the day. I need to review my equipment.
We moved to our sleeping bags. We stayed closed to keep warm for the night. We felt asleep with the stars…. Beautiful !
Next day story will follow…
Website : http://www.chinescapades.com
Contact : Timothée – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile : (+86) 134-2643-0770