China #13 Section 5 – Final Walk on the Wall (14/09/15 Part a)

This Walk on the Wall is About Helping Others to Help Themselves

But on this morning, I needed help… I was in deep trouble!

Why? Well… the  morning didn’t start off at all well and I have to admit it was ‘mea culpa’! A number of us had been looking forward to a slice of toast, a bit of a rarity in China. A nice fried egg on top of a freshly cooked and hot buttered slice of toast… that was the thought on quite a few minds. Yours truly arrived fairly early on… salivating at the thought of a piece of hot buttered toast. So helpfully, and hopefully, I plugged in the toaster. Bang!!! I blew the bloody thing up! The staff came running but all they could do was to cover the damn thing up. The poor machine lay there, covered as if in a shroud, all through breakfast. I was not the most popular of people I can tell you. Ah well. What can you do?

‘Twas almost a PB when we finally left the hotel at Huairou for our last day on ‘that Wall’. We were only ten minutes late.

DSC00600 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00600 © DY of jtdytravels

We drove out of Huairou and up a different valley… a very picturesque drive past more market gardens and nut groves and fish farms.

DSC00596 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00596 © DY of jtdytravels

Chestnuts with very prickly skins.

DSC00605 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00605 © DY of jtdytravels

A tantalising sight… a fresh pear. Almost harvest time in this part of China.

Many of the farmhouses were traditionally built. We passed lots of restaurants and motel-like places which made me think this area must be a popular weekend get-away for the city-folk. 

All too soon, there we were making our way along yet another rough section of the Wall. Hero told us that this, our final wall walk, was to be almost 11 km… divided into two sections. 

DSC00602 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00602 © DY of jtdytravels

We were soon back up on the Wall preparing to walk between the forts, beacon towers and guard towers of the The Huanghucheng Great Wall. This section of the Wall was begun in 1575 during the Ming Dynasty by the fastidious General Cai Kai. It took many years to complete.

DSC00606 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00606 © DY of jtdytravels

Although some of this section of the Wall has been restored, other parts are quite rough. Some notices even suggested that hiking this section of the Wall is not officially permitted. But we headed off down a steep part of the wall with our guide. Presumably, he had permission.

DSC00611 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00611 © DY of jtdytravels

Lots of shrubs along this section meant lots of flowers. But I had seen and photographed most of them before; and to be quite honest, I was almost to the point of being ‘over the Wall’. My enthusiasm for photography on the Wall was beginning to wane. But this one was lovely.

DSC00612 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00612 © DY of jtdytravels

However, I knew that I was on this journey and challenge not just for myself, and not just to raise money for Shaping Futures Scholarships, but also to share with all of you, our friendly armchair travellers. So I kept that finger tapping away on the camera whenever a view like this presented itself. This gives a really good idea of the morning’s walk. ‘Twas a long way down from the top… and we were just about to start another upward climb. It was relentless.

DSC00613 DY of jtdytravels

DSC00613 DY of jtdytravels

See what I mean. Here we go, climbing up again!

DSC00615 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00615 © DY of jtdytravels

And it really was a long way up! Hard work for all of us.

DSC00616 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00616 © DY of jtdytravels

And when we reached the top of that ridge, we had a marvellous view down over parts of the town of Huanghuacheng (or Yellow Flower City). This town is famous for having several lakes and reservoirs close to the Wall. In fact, some of the Wall was submerged when the reservoir was formed. We were now just 60 km from Beijing… the end of the walk was beckoning.

DSC00618 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00618 © DY of jtdytravels

With a view like that below, this was as good a place as any for a rest stop.

Indeed, after a climb like that, most legs refused to go further!

DSC00617 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00617 © DY of jtdytravels

But onward and upward we had to go.

This was the type of steep ramp walking that I found the hardest.

DSC00619 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00619 © DY of jtdytravels

So how steep is steep? Thanks Scott for the demonstration.

DSC00620 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00620 © DY of jtdytravels

Or perhaps you prefer this Demo!

DSC00621 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00621 © DY of jtdytravels

Down again…steeply… seemingly with a drop off into a lake!

Now, closer to a town, we began to be joined by some Chinese day walkers.

DSC00622 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00622 © DY of jtdytravels

A dog’s paw prints in the concrete pavement!

A wonder how many years they’ve been there… centuries perhaps!

DSC00624 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00624 © DY of jtdytravels

Steps to nowhere… or so it seems. An up and over part of the walk!

DSC00625 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00625 © DY of jtdytravels

Thankfully these were the last of the steps before we stopped for lunch.

It had been a very hot, humid morning.

We were all ready for a good break, some good food and a long cold beer.

DSC00626 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC00626 © DY of jtdytravels

We finished this really difficult part of the day’s walk at a restaurant near a dam wall.

Lovely country-style food was served to us …

along with an equally lovely COLD beer!

More anon

David

All Photography Copyright ©  David Young of  jtdytravels

http://www.everydayhero.com.au/event/50kmFor50Years

Click on “Sponsor a Friend” under the photo of the great wall

Type in David to get to my donation page.

 

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