Trekking, boozing & zip-line fun!
06.11.2006 30 °C
On the 10th Aug adge, the crazy Dutch guy, and myself took a bus to Jinshangling where part of the great wall runs through on its winding way across 6352km (3948 miles) of China.The bus ride was an event in itself but won't really mean anything to anyone who wasn't there!So we eventually arrived at Jingshangling in a light rain and fog which we were totally unprepared for!After buying a raincoat and some biscuits for sustenance we set off in the rain to walk a 10km stretch of the longest man-made structure in the world.The rain and fog created an eerie atmosphere to the wall as we walked along imagining what the landscape around us was like.Visibility was down to around 20m for an hour or so and then the fog lifted to reveal a lush and hilly landscape which the wall seemingly traversed with ease.It is an unbelievable engineering achievement to admire as it winds its way across the hills into the distance.However, we all agreed that we would not have wanted to be stationed here as a soldier!
The majority of our walk was uphill in the first half which was pretty hard going as we walked at a pretty good pace with few breaks.We were glad not to have been out boozing the night before this walk!We pressed on and were soon accompanied by two chinese women who invited themselves to join us and occasionally point out things of interest.We were under no illusions that they would want to sell us something but they were nice enough and we didn't think they would understand us if we had asked them to leave us alone so we tolerated their company for a few kilometres.We stopped for lunch at one of the highest watchtowers on the section and the sun came out from behind the clouds.The rest of the walk was to be downhill mainly which was welcome news given that it was now around 30C and pretty humid.Sure enough, after another 30 mins walking the women said they would go no further with us and asked us to buy some souvenirs from them.I ended up with a nice book about the wall and adge bought some postcards which made them happy anyway!On we walked admiring the beautiful scenery and after an hour we reached our destination of Simatao.The 10km had taken us 3 hrs to walk in total and we thought that deserved a beer.As luck would have it there was a really cool Chinese guy selling "Ice cold beer...coke...water...ice cream!"We dutifully bought 3 ice cold beers and sat back to relax in the sun whilst we waited for our driver (we somehow managed to acquire?) to pick us up in a couple of hrs time.Our mates jo, john, and charlotte we also walking the same section that day and we wondered if they were still walking as we drank our beers.Our new friend selling beer kept us amused as he repeated his now infamous saying to all that passed.The guy even brought out a loudspeaker which he lent me for a while!We were a little surprised when jon walked up to us a little while later and gave us his tale of walking the same section.He had enjoyed it and was soon followed by jo and later charlotte.We all agreed it had been a challenge (little was I to know that this would be a breeze compared to my later trekking exploits!) and had really enjoyed the walk through the lush scenery.We had been looking forward to doing the 200m zip-line across the lake to the bottom and I was first to go.A Japanese girl wanted a companion on the zip-line so that she would go faster so I was volunteered to accompany her.It was a lot of fun and I got jon to videotape it on my camera (great job mate!) for posterity.