Great Wall of China 09

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 -16 Apr Depart London for Beijing
Day 2 - 17 Apr Arrive Beijing. Transfer to city hotel to freshen up. Full trip briefing in evening.
Day 3 - 18 Apr Beijing - Huangyaguan. 3.5 hour scenic drive, then..... we start our trek! Some steep bits (ouch) then 2-3 hours trek.
Day 4 - 19 Apr Huangyaguan - Mountain village. We head up some steep renovated steps towards what appears to be a sheer cliff face (gulp). A steep climb up 'Heaven's Ladder' leads us up the cliff face. Continuing on steep tracks (has one word become clear yet?!?) through a forest, we arrive at the top of a ridge. We join the old Wall and it follows the contours of the mountain. Then, down (yes, yes, yes) to the valley below. We bed down in the houses of the a local village!!
Day 5 - 20 Apr Mountain Village - Jinshanlin. Up, up, up... through farming terraces & rocky hillsides. And, guess what... the path is... steep! We re-join an un-restored & crumbling Wall. Winding tracks through trees & maize fields, walnut & fruit trees with, aparently, fabulous views, Trek about 5 hours.
Day 6 - 21 April Gubeiko - Jinshanlin. 20 minute bus trip then off we go. Today's part of the Wall dates back to the Qing Dynasty. We skirt a Chinese military post (strictly no photos). Guess what.... there are some steep sections today & may need to help each other out! However, stunning views of a snaking Wall should keep us going. Final stretch is on restored Wall with LOTS of steps. Trek approx 8 hours.
Day 7 - 22 April Jinshanlin - Simatei. Back up into the mountains. Wall clings to the rockface, dotted with many watchtowers; classic 'scales on a dragon's back' scenery. We finish the day with a zip slide across a lake then a short boat ride. 6 hours trekking today.
Day 8 - 23 April Simatei - Mutianyu. 3 hour bus transfer then a 2-hour walk up the hillside to re-join the Wall, set high on a ridge. At the end of today's trek there is an opportunity to do some haggling at a local market. 5 hour trek today.
Day 9 - 24 April Happy Birthday to xxxxxx (fill in the x). Mutianyu - Juyongguan. Our final day's walk takes us a circuit of the restored Wall. After some of the, yes, steepest steps we will have encountered the trek will be over. We load up the bus & back to Beijing, home to 13 million people. Trek approx 4 hours. Evening celebration meal.
Day 10 - 25 April Free day in Beijing. Visit to The Forbidden City & Tianenman Square.
Day 11 & 12 Beijing. Opportunity for us to explore the local shops, markets, sights etc before chillin at The Marriott Hotel. Swimmming pool....sauna....jajuzzi.....steam room.... hmmmmmmm
28 April Early flight out of Beijing toi Dubai, the Dubai to Gatwick. Peter to collect us two weary travellers! Thanks to everyone who has supported us on our trek & helped us raise about 10,000 for The Stroke Association & The Alzheimer's Society. We look forward to boring you with all our tales & photos

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