The Great Wall, take two
Today we continued our walk on the Great Wall, however today we were in the Jainkou area. This section of the wall hasn’t been touched, and is all original. It was a shorter trek but steeper. The section which was really challenging was called the ‘Heavenly ladder’. Our CEO didn’t advise us to climb this part, but it seemed stupid not to considering we had walked all the way to the bottom of it and just stare up.
I feel so proud to say I climbed it. For the last two days I’ve realised how much I don’t push myself. O know my group is a bit older than me but they all really struggled with the trek but I didn’t see, to find it as strenuous. Considering they were all fully equipped with breathable tops, walking boots and the sexy zip trousers, I still found myself way in front around 95% of the time. Anyway, so I, glad I pushed myself to climb this section of the wall because it was truly petrifying. Some parts were at an 80 degree angle (according to the internet… so it must be true).
The worst part of it was the climb/drop down. The Chinese don’t like to queue and unfortunately we had some fearless (I would have called them impatient) Chinese woman who kept flapping their arms for us to go down faster. I freaked out at one point and started to tear up. There was nothing anyone could do though so I just continued to go until we got to the bottom safely.
On the walk down we passed some horses who were carrying more than 10 slabs orpf bricks on their backs up to the wall to help reconstruct the heavenly ladder. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the mules. I then remembered Mr Zhao telling us he had carried 8 at a time in the 1980s. It must have been backbreaking. It made me realise how extraordinary this wall was, and how sorry I felt for all those people forced to carry bricks up to create the original wall for Qin Shi Hung.
We then had the afternoon back in Beijing before catching a sleeper train at 8.30pm.
I knew the train wasn’t going to be spacious and I didn’t have high expections (…fortunately) so when boarding the train I didn’t have too much of a shock with what little space we all had. Fortunately I was on bottom bunk which meant I could sit down at times, but this also made me more aware of my bags and possessions. Admittedly not the best nights sleep I’m sure I’ll experience in my time, but I’m sure it could have been a lot worse.