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UK Blog Awards - Vote Now

Please vote for my blog at the UK Blog Awards!

I’m so pleased to announce that my blog has been nominated for a UK Blog Award in the category of Health and Social Care!!!

If you have enjoyed reading my blog or if it has helped you in some way, I would really love it if you could spare a moment to vote for me.

I have put a lot of work into this blog over the last year and so having my blog be part of the UK Blog Awards means everything to me.  A bonus is that it also helps to raise awareness of scoliosis 🙂

To vote, all you need to do is click here – it takes less than a minute.

Voting closes on the 22nd December… Thanks in advance for your support 🙂

Louise X

Great Wall of China

Wow… I’ve raised £1,420 for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick post to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who sponsored me for my Great Wall of China Trek. I managed to raise an amazing £1,420 (including gift aid) for the Scoliosis campaign fund!!!

My fundraising page is closing tomorrow so if anyone would like to make a last minute donation there’s still time 😊… it means so much to me that I managed to complete the trek and raise so much money for a charity close to my heart. It was one of my goals at the start of this year to complete a fundraising challenge for scoliosis but I never dreamed I would raise so much!

If you’d like to read more on my charity Great Wall of China trek, check out my posts on each day of the trek below…

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 1 – Jinshanling Loop

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 2 Gubeikou Section

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 3 – Mutianyu Section

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 4 – Huanghuacheng

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 5 – Badaling Section

I’d love to do another big challenge and I need to think about what to do next 🙂 any ideas? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time!

Louise X

China Trek Day 5 - Badaling Great Wall view

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 5 – Badaling section

So we’re now onto day 5, the final day of the trek and my final post about my Great Wall of China trek for scoliosis.

In case you are new to my blog or have missed any posts, I’m blogging about my Great Wall of China trek that I did to raise money for the Scoliosis Campaign fund a few weeks ago.

If you want to catch up, you can check out my other posts below…

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 1 – Jinshanling Loop

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 2 – Gubeikou Section

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 3 – Mutianyu section

Great Wall of China Trek Day 4 – Huanghuacheng

By doing this trek, I have managed to raise over £1000 for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund which I am incredibly proud of. If you’d like to support me and everyone who suffers from scoliosis, you can still donate to my page by clicking here.


Great Wall of China Trek: Day 5 – Badaling section

So after a random breakfast of cabbage, spring rolls and potato type things we left the hotel where we had spent the past two nights and headed to the Badaling section of the wall. As it was the last day of the trek today, it was a shorter day of trekking (still about 4-5 hours though). This was because we had to head into central Beijing later that afternoon for an acrobat show and a massage (an interesting experience, more on that later).

We travelled by coach to the Badaling section of the wall. Apparently this is the most popular section of the wall that tourists visit when they come to Beijing and as soon as we arrived, we could tell. In sharp contrast to the previous days of isolated trekking, there were coach loads of tourists here.

We were also very high up in the mountains today, which meant it felt much colder than the previous days of trekking. And typically today was the day where we had all taken our hats, gloves and scarves etc out of our backpacks as we hadn’t needed them on the previous days! Ah well, as soon as we started walking up the steep steps we warmed up!

China Trek Day 5 - Badaling Great Wall

It was very misty when we arrived due to how high we were and also how cold it was. The first part of the walk today started with a steep climb up a combination of steps and paved walkways until we reached the top. To be honest, today was much easier than some of the previous days because this section of the wall has been recently renovated.

China Trek Day 5 - Badaling Great Wall

There were also hand rails to actually hold onto (which felt a bit like cheating, but was very welcome after 4 days of trekking!) A few people in the group were feeling tired and a bit fed up today and to get through this last day was a real challenge.

China Trek Day 5 - Badaling Great Wall

As we got higher and higher, the mist cleared and the views were simply stunning, which helped to boost morale. I think they were some of my favourite views of the week as we were literally above the clouds. There were also less people the higher we went, as most tourists will just stay near the bottom of this part of the wall (I don’t blame them either!!).

China Trek Day 5 - Badaling Great Wall view from the top
Badaling Great Wall view from the top
China Trek Day 5 - Badaling Great Wall
Steep!

As with every day of the challenge, this part of the wall had some VERY steep parts which I found much worse coming down. There was definitely no relief on the last day.

China Trek Day 5 - Badaling Great Wall
We did it!!

Once we got to the bottom we had a celebratory beer as a group. I couldn’t quite believe that it was all over and that we’d managed to complete the challenge! I felt quite sad that it was all over but also proud of what I had achieved. It truly was an amazing experience and what I loved was that every day was different. Badaling was how I imagined the wall to be after seeing it online or on TV. However, some parts of the wall such as Huanghuacheng and Gubeikou were not like anything I could have imagined. As they were so old and un-renovated, they offered a completely different perspective and experience altogether.

China Trek Day 5 - Badaling Great Wall
Celebratory Beers

We had our lunch on the coach and then headed into Beijing that afternoon where we had a few treats to celebrate our achievements. We went to watch a Chinese acrobat show, which was an experience and then headed to have a massage. This wasn’t exactly the most relaxing of experiences to be honest!! I ended up with bruises all over my legs put it that way..

After the massage we had our evening meal and a few drinks before heading back to our hotel, ready for a day of sightseeing in Beijing on our last day before heading home.

 

 

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - views

Great Wall of China Trek Day 4: Huanghuacheng

Hi everyone,

I’m slowly making my way through blogging about my Great Wall of China trek that I did to raise money for the Scoliosis Campaign fund a few weeks ago.

If you want to catch up, check out the posts below…

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 1 – Jinshanling Loop

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 2 – Gubeikou Section

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 3 – Mutianyu section

By doing this trek, I have managed to raise over £1000 for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund which I am incredibly proud of. If you’d like to support me and everyone who suffers from scoliosis, you can still donate to my page by clicking here.


Great Wall of China Trek Day 4: Huanghuacheng

So, onto day 4 and for me, the toughest day of the week. This section was called Huanghuacheng, also known as the “Yellow Flower” section due to the beautiful yellow flowers/trees that surround this section of the wall.

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng
Yellow flowers at Huanghuacheng

We drove to a small village called Xishuiyu, where the trek started with a very challenging uphill climb through a thick forest to get up onto the wall. This part was rocky and slippy underfoot, especially because we had the first bit of rain of the week.

 

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng
China Trek Day 4 – rain will not stop us!

We kept going for around an hour or two until we reached the wall, which was very old and one of the most challenging parts to walk on.

As a result, it was very quiet, which I liked. Although we were told that this section is popular with backpackers, it’s not really a touristy part of the wall. Mainly because it is very challenging to walk on and it’s also quite far out of Beijing. That’s one of the main things I loved about this trek though, I felt like we got to see parts of the wall that tourists don’t usually see, which felt quite special. 🙂

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng 8
China Trek Day 4 – Made it onto the wall! Very overgrown…

The next part was VERY challenging. The terrain was very rocky, steep and slippy and there were trees and plants growing all over the wall.

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng steep
China Trek Day 4 – steep!

My biggest fear was slipping as it was pretty treacherous in parts and there were bits where we actually had to scramble up and down the slippy rocks. My Mount Snowdon training definitely came in useful here I can tell you!

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng 4

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng

We kept going until we reached some verrry steep steps (there is definitely a theme here…) and then we had a break for lunch.

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng steep steps
China Trek Day 4 – steep steps!

Lunch today was rice for me (as a vegetarian) and “Hot Boxes” for everyone else, which were basically curry and rice which heated themselves – pretty cool.

After lunch it was decision time. Some of the group would now head back to the coach, whereas the rest of us were given the option to trek up THE STEEPEST thing I have ever walked up. No word of a lie. Now I like a challenge, so obviously I gave it a go. But it was pretty scary as it was so high up and the ascent was ridiculously steep. There is a picture below of what we waked up…

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - scary
Yeah, we walked up that…

I took a few pictures while I was up there but in all honestly I was too scared to stop and turn round to take more. I don’t suffer with a fear of heights usually but I got a bit of vertigo up there I must admit.. if you don’t like heights then you would not like this!

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - scary
Steep trek up!

When we reached the top though the views of the Xishuiyu Reservoir and the surrounding mountains and wall were just stunning, so it was worth it.

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - view from the top
Huanghuacheng – view from the top

However, we had to get down and for me this was the most terrifying bit of the whole trip! The descent down was a series of almost vertical steep slopes. There was nothing to hold onto and it was quite slippy, as it had rained earlier. To get down we were told to walk leaning backwards to try and keep our balance. I nearly slipped a few times! My walking poles saved my life here, literally. I didn’t take many pictures here as I couldn’t really safely stop but the below may give you an idea, although they don’t really do the steepness justice. It honestly looked worse when you were there believe it or not!

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - scary walk down
Huanghuacheng – scary walk down
China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - scary walk down
Huanghuacheng – scary walk down

It was utter relief to make it down in one piece to the waiting bus and a beer at the bottom I can tell you!

So it was the end of day 4 and back onto the bus for the journey back to the hotel. Tonight we visited a Jade factory and had our dinner there which was interesting. A few people bought some Jade jewellery, which was beautiful, but I’m just tight and didn’t want to pay for anything haha.

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - food
Foooood!

We then headed back to the hotel for a few drinks before heading to bed for the last day of trekking – day 5 Badaling.

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 12

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 3 – Mutianyu section

Hi everyone,

After posting about day 1 and day 2 of my Great Wall of China trek last week, I’ve finally had chance to sit down and write day 3. It still doesn’t feel real like I actually did it!

I’m so pleased that by doing this trek I have managed to raise OVER £1,000 for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund!

I’m going to leave my sponsor page open for donations until the end of November, so if you’d like to donate and support me and others with scoliosis, you can so so via this link.  🙂

So I think day 3 was my favourite day out of the whole trek mainly because of the variety. On day 3, we tackled Mutianyu section of the Wall, and then a challenging trek down the appropriately named “Heavenly Staircase” followed by a toboggan ride back down again (had to be done!)


Great Wall of China Trek: Day 3 – Mutianyu section

After breakfast, we drove out to the village of Xihazi, and the day began with a stiff climb up towards the tower of Zhenbeilou. This was very tough as the terrain was very steep, rocky and slippy as we were climbing through a forest. It took about 2 hours of climbing uphill before we even reached the wall.

 Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section

Once we reached the wall itself, it was rocky, un-renovated and overgrown with plants and trees. It was also very steep again, making it a real challenge.

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 1

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 4
Difficult terrain

We kept going on terrain like this until we reached the peak, where we stopped for lunch.

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 17

Today, we had a special treat for lunch and a break from the strange yellow bread of day 1 and 2. We had a Subway! Yes, a Subway on the Great Wall of China.. very random, but very tasty, especially after all that walking!

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 5

At this point, there was also the opportunity to buy a ribbon, on which people wrote messages to loved ones and tied them to the trees on the wall. I thought the red ribbons looked really pretty and I know some members of the group found this part quite emotional.

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 6

After lunch, we headed to the more touristy and renovated part of the Mutianyu section. This part was slightly easier in terms of the terrain but still very steep and tough on the knees! The views were amazing, and as today was quite misty, it made it feel quite magical, like something out of Game of Thrones (even though I don’t watch it!)

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 8

After walking for a while, we approached the extremely steep “Heavenly Staircase.” This was definitely a challenge and quite scary in parts as it was so steep but the views were breathtaking.

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 10

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 16
Heavenly Staircase

After tackling the endless steps and walking a bit further, it was decision time! Some of the group would head back down to the coach on the cable cars while myself and a few others decided to go for the infamous toboggan (why not?)

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 18

After another hour or so of walking we finally made it to the toboggan which was an experience! I have to say at this point, I was dubious and slightly worried about hurting my back (in case someone rammed into the back of me). But it was so fun! I’m really glad I did it and I kind of wish I’d filmed it like some of the others in our group did, but I was too busy holding on!! I went quite slowly so it was all good..

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 13
Great Wall of China Toboggan

After the toboggan, we headed to Subway (yes, Subway) at the bottom of the wall for a well earned drink. Yes the Subway in China served alcohol. Winner!

 

We then piled onto the coach after another amazing day and headed back to the hotel for a shower, change and dinner.

China Trek Day 2 - Gubeikou

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 2 – Gubeikou Section

After a good nights sleep we all awoke – stiff and in pain from all the steep steps of day 1 – and hobbled down to breakfast.

Today we were walking to the start point on the Gubeikou wall and so no need to get the coach, although the coach would be waiting at the end of the walk, so after breakfast we had to pack all our stuff and put it on the coach ready.

We also made our packed lunch again (same yellow bread as day 1) and filled up our water bottles ready for the trek ahead.


Great Wall of China Trek: Day 2 – Gubeikou Section

When we were all ready, at around 8.30 am we started walking through the pretty little village of Gubeikou to the start point of the trek.

China Trek Day 2 - Gubeikou village
China Trek Day 2 – Gubeikou village

It was a steep and challenging ascent up to the top of the wall(especially with sore calves from day 1) but the views were amazing on the way up.

China Trek Day 2 - Hike up to Gubeikou
Views on the hike up to Gubeikou – you can see the wall on the top of the mountain ahead

The Gubeikou section of the wall was completely different from the Jinshanling section on day 1. It was not restored/well preserved. It was rugged and crumbly with uneven terrain which was difficult to walk on in parts, there were also some really narrow sections with huge drops either side, which was quite scary for some people in our group.

China Trek Day 2 - narrow section of the wall at Gubeikou
Narrow section of the wall at Gubeikou

Despite this, I quite enjoyed this part of the wall. It’s more how I imagined the walking to be on this challenge and it was far less touristy – in fact we didn’t see another soul on this part of the wall, except for another charity walking group like us.

China Trek Day 2 - Gubeikou

After walking for a while we had a break which was a chance for a quick rest and to take in those amazing views. We were lucky again with the weather today, around 16 degrees and pure blue skies which meant the views were stunning.

China Trek Day 2 - rest stop at Gubeikou
China Trek Day 2 – rest stop at Gubeikou

China Trek Day 2 - Gubeikou

After the break and a quick snack, there was a very steep climb up to one of the towers in the distance. This bit was very challenging as the terrain was uneven and there were some bits where we had to scramble up and over rocks.

China Trek Day 2 - Gubeikou steep climb up
China Trek Day 2 – Gubeikou steep climb up
China Trek Day 2 - Gubeikou steep climb up
China Trek Day 2 – Gubeikou steep climb up

After the steep climb we stopped for lunch and the views again were breathtaking.

China Trek Day 2 - Views from the top at Gubeikou
China Trek Day 2 – Views from the top at Gubeikou

Then came the descent back down, which I actually found harder than going up as it was a challenge not to slip as the path was steep and quite sandy and slippy in places. In fact, I had my first slip on the way down the Gubeikou section. Luckily I was ok but I bruised my leg and knee quite a bit.

After a long and challenging day, we headed back to the coach and the drive to the next place we were staying. It was actually a hotel tonight (Shuangyang Hotel) rather than a lodge and we were in more of a built up area rather than the middle of nowhere like the last two nights.

On first glance the hotel looked nice and quite fancy compared to where we had been staying the previous two nights. However the downside was that there was no heating because the certain parts of the city of Beijing are not allowed to switch heating on until the 11th November! So it was verrry cold.

Tonight, we had a few hours to spare before the evening meal so we showered and changed and decided to head out into the area we were staying and explore.

We had time to visit a couple of supermarkets and that was an experience as everyone was staring at us!

I fancied some crisps but it appears they only have strange flavoured crisps in China..I settled for some cucumber crisps as I was intrigued, but they weren’t great in all honesty..

 

China Trek Day 2 - Cucumber Crisps
China Trek Day 2 – Cucumber Crisps

We then headed back to the hotel for food and it was another nice Chinese meal.

China Trek Day 2 - Chinese Meal

There was no bar (Chinese hotels don’t tend to have bars which I found very odd) so we sat in the lobby and chatted for a bit before heading to bed, it was very cold though so we didn’t stay up too late tonight.

We then headed back to our rooms and packed our bags ready for day 3 and the move to the next hotel.

 

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling Loop

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 1 – Jinshanling Loop

Hi guys!

Well I’m back from China and what a fabulous experience it was. I wanted to write a blog post each day I was there but I didn’t have my laptop in China and so I thought I’d write a day by day update now I’m back.

Overall, I had an amazing time and met some truly inspirational people, who all had personal challenges to overcome.

Fitness wise, it was challenging but surprisingly I didn’t find it too bad. The bigger challenge for me was the rough terrain and the steepness, as slipping was a real concern.

I think all the running I did beforehand really helped with the fitness side though. Before I went, I was worried about how my back would cope and I was right to worry. On day 3 I managed to injure my shoulder, which was very painful for the remainder of the trip.

I think this was a result of carrying a heavy back pack while trekking. My shoulder is still very sore and it feels like I have torn the muscles there. Due to my scoliosis, I already had weakness there, as the muscles are weaker on one side. This is where I have also strained my muscles previously by running. So I think the combination of the heavy back pack and swinging of the walking poles must have been pulling on this and it kind of re-ignited the previous injury.

In all honestly, I was a bit upset by this, as I wasn’t able to carry a backpack for days 4 and 5. This made me feel like a bit of a failure, like my back let me down and it also made me feel like I’m not invincible!

Luckily, everyone was so kind and carried my kit and water for me so I could continue on with the challenge (even though it was very painful).

The best part was that I managed to raise OVER £1,000 for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund! I really can’t believe it and I’m so grateful to everyone who donated and made this possible.

I’m going to leave my page open for donations until the end of November, so if you’d like to donate and support me and others with scoliosis, you can so so via this link.  🙂


Day 1: Jinshanling Loop

We had arrived in Beijing the previous afternoon, very tired and very jet lagged! After checking into the Impression Lodge and having a brief use of the WiFi, we headed to the restaurant for a yummy Chinese meal and a couple of beers. This was a chance to get to know the others in the group a bit more (some of us had already met in the airport/on the plane) – there were 17 of us all together.

As we were all tired, after a couple of drinks and a briefing about plans for the next day, we headed back to our rooms and packed our day sacks ready for the first day of trekking.

China Trek Day 1-Impression Lodge
China Trek Day 1-Impression Lodge

On day 1, we woke up early and headed to breakfast, after which we made our packed lunches, which consisted of strange yellow Chinese bread and some fruit and biscuits, and we filled our water bottles/bladders. At this point it still felt surreal to us all that we were actually in China and about to do what we were going to do!

We then got onto the coach, taking all our bags and stuff with us, as the next night we were staying at a different lodge. This part was a bit of a pain for me as lugging my huge rucksack around was really not easy! Most of the time I dragged it along the floor or some one helped me with it (luckily).  We travelled about an hour or so to our first challenge: the Jinshanling Loop.

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling Loop Sign

We felt very lucky on the first day as the weather was perfect for walking and for getting some truly stunning views of the wall – it was sunny with pure blue skies and a high of around 17/18 degrees.

When we arrived, we had a quick toilet break and our first experience of the Chinese “squatting” toilets! Luckily they were clean but it was a strange experience initially, as we are not used to them back in the UK. We then walked up to the visitor gate and got ourselves ready, sorted out our walking poles etc and headed on for the first part of the trek.

To get onto the wall itself, we first had to walk up ALOT of steps and I think this is the first point where I (and others) realised how tough this was going to be. It took at least an hour of climbing what felt like endless steps before we made it onto the wall, but when we did, my god the views were worth it. This was the first time we had properly seen the wall itself and I was taken aback by how beautiful it was, especially as it was such a clear day and you could see the wall snaking around the mountains for miles and miles.

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling Loop

One of the main things that hit me at this point was also how steep the wall was! The word of the week was undulating – as it was pretty much constant ups and downs. I don’t think anything can prepare you for the sheer steepness, as we really have nothing like it back in the UK. The pictures don’t do it justice but I took some pictures just to try and show how steep it was. All I can say is I really don’t know how people manage to run the Great Wall of China marathon on here!!!

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling Loop 3

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling - steep steps
China Trek Day 1 – Jinshanling – steep steps
China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling - more steep steps
China Trek Day 1 – Jinshanling – more steep steps

After a few hours of trekking, we stopped for lunch and a bit of a rest and the views were just insane. We all said we didn’t think we’d ever had a better view for lunch before! Even if we did have to eat strange yellow bread 😉

China Trek Day 1 - lunch
China Trek Day 1 – lunch

After lunch, it was more of the same and after more trekking and being chased by women selling t-shirts, magnets and purses, some of the group started the walk down back to the coach and the rest of us carried on a bit further to an older, less renovated section of the wall. This was the first time seeing a less renovated part and it was sad to see it literally crumbling away in sections.

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling
Less Renovated Part of Jinshanling
China Trek Day 2 - Less renovated section of the wall
Less renovated section of the wall

We walked as far as we could until we came to a section which had completely crumbled away, so was impassable.

China Trek Day 2 - Impassable part of the wall
Impassable part of the wall
China Trek Day 2 - End of the wall
China Trek Day 1 – End of the wall

After this, it was time for the descent back down to the coach. The steps down felt like they went on forever!! When we got to the bottom, we were sweating and our legs were aching but we were pleased to see a guy selling beer in the car park – result! So of course I (and a few others) bought a beer and we sat in the sun and drank it before getting on the coach and heading onto the lodge where we spent the second night.

China Trek Day 1 - Beers!
China Trek Day 1 – Beers!

A great end to a fantastic first day! After finishing our beers we headed to the next stop – Green Lodge in Gubeikou village, as on day 2 we would be trekking the Gubeikou section of the wall.

On the way though, just as we were starting to relax, our coach got stopped for a random police check and we had to haul all our luggage off the bus and take it, with our passports, to be checked in the police station! That was a little scary and also the first time it’s happened to our guide. Everything was ok though and we all got back onto the coach and arrived at the Green lodge an hour or so later.

This first night was my favourite night of the whole trip as the lodge was really cute, very authentic Chinese.

China Trek Day 1 - Second Hotel - Green Lodge
China Trek Day 1 – Second Hotel – Green Lodge

After a brief rest, shower and packing of our bags ready for day 2, we headed downstairs for food. We had an amazing meal of traditional Chinese food and beers, and tried some traditional Chinese rice wine, which is very strong and tastes like more of a spirit than wine.

China Trek Day 1 - Chinese meal
China Trek Day 1 – Chinese meal

After a good night we headed to bed, exhausted and ready for day 2 – the Gubeikou section.

Great Wall of China

My Great Wall of China Trek is Tomorrow!!!

Hi

Just a quick post tonight!

I cannot believe that my Great Wall of China trek for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund is tomorrow. I’m so nervous it’s unbelievable. I have been packing and stressing tonight and I’m worried that I have forgotten to pack something. I’m also worried about what’s to come and because I’m going by myself. Eeek! It’s totally outside of my comfort zone.

It’s also quite exciting though and I’m looking forward to seeing China and pushing myself.

I am also impressed that I managed to fit everything into one rucksack lol.

Great Wall of China Trek

So what will I be doing?

Over the course of 5 days I’ll be trekking the Great Wall of China for up to 7 hours a day. I’ll be hiking up steep terrain and climbing thousands of steps. I’ll be trekking on un-renovated sections of the wall at height and staying in basic lodges. And I’m doing all of this to raise awareness and money for scoliosis.

There’s still time to sponsor me, if you’d like to 🙂 Just click on the link below.. All money will be donated to the Scoliosis Campaign Fund who support people with scoliosis and fund research into finding the causes of scoliosis and treatments to improve quality of life for patients. They are only a small charity so every penny really does mean everything.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=LouiseLaurie

Well, I guess I’ll see you on the other side! I’ll be sure to post updates and pictures when I get back 🙂

Bye for now,

Louise X

Great Wall of China Trek 2 weeks to go...

Great Wall of China Trek – 2 weeks to go!

Hi everyone 🙂

I can’t believe my trek on the Great Wall of China for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund is less than 2 weeks away… where is this year going?! If you’d like to sponsor me and help me to raise money for those affected by scoliosis, you can do so here. 🙂

In back related news, I had an MRI scan last week to try and find the cause of my leg numbness. I’m quite worried about this because at the moment I don’t know what it is and I keep thinking the worst. Basically my right leg is numb all the way down the outside and it also feels weaker than the left leg. It feels like it’s getting worse too which is concerning, especially as it’s so close to my China trek. I’m worried that my leg will affect my ability to actually do the trek, or it will be uncomfortable/painful. 🙁 Typical really when I have been building up to this for so long.

Despite this though, I’m still going ahead with the trek and I’m really excited that I have managed to raise over £500 so far for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund.

I haven’t done as much training as I’d like to do and I’m also worried about my fitness levels, as in actually being fit enough to do it. I have seen pictures of the Great Wall and it looks very steep and we will have to climb thousands of steep steps during the challenge.

I do go to the gym several times a week and I also run, but I haven’t done as much hiking as I’d like in order to prepare. So I feel a bit worried that I haven’t trained enough!! I’ve done a few short walks up hills near where I live and I did go up the Mount Snowdon Pyg Track last month but the weather has been too bad to go again, which I wanted to do.

Today I did manage a 13 mile walk though (took about 5 hours) round the hills of Derbyshire. I hadn’t done this walk before and it was quite pleasant with good views. I managed this ok although it definitely wasn’t as steep/challenging as the Great Wall will be. But it was good to get out and actually see how my back/leg would cope with a longer walk.

Great Wall of China Training

In China, I’ll be trekking for around 4-7 hours per day, covering approximately 50kms over 5 days as well as continually hiking up and down thousands of stairs. Not sure how my back will cope with consecutive days of hiking but it’s all part of the challenge!

I’m starting to get nervous now but I have made a start on organising and buying things that I need so I can start packing. I’ve never done anything like this before so I’ve had to buy a few things like a rucksack and some walking poles! Later in the week I’ll do a post on what I’m taking/packing. I think the key is to pack light, something I’m not so good at… 😉


Please sponsor me… pretty please!

If you have scoliosis or know someone with scoliosis please consider sponsoring me to help the Scoliosis Campaign Fund.

The Scoliosis Campaign Fund raises money to support people with scoliosis and their families, and fund research into finding the causes of scoliosis and treatments to improve quality of life for patients. They are only a small charity so every penny really does mean everything.

This is going to be a massive challenge for me. I’m sooo nervous and would love your support! You can sponsor me by clicking the Virgin Money icon below. It doesn’t have to be much, even small amounts like £1 would be appreciated as it all adds up and helps 🙂

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

Louise X


 

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Northern Blog Awards 2017, The Principal Hotel

Northern Blog Awards! #NBAs17

On Saturday night, I joined 200 other amazing bloggers at the first ever Northern Blog Awards!

It was a fantastic night and so I really wanted to write a post on it. I first heard about the event via Twitter, and, being a blogger based in the North of England, I thought I just had to go.

Northern Blog Awards - Getting Ready

Earlier this year, I decided that I wanted to start taking my blog seriously. I have been blogging about my scoliosis now for about 7 years but it was my goal this year to really focus on it. I wanted to grow my blog traffic, raise awareness of scoliosis and to see myself as a serious health blogger.

When I saw the event on Twitter, I thought what better way to help me achieve my blog goals than to attend? I had never been to an event like this before and I wanted to use the opportunity to learn from other more established bloggers. Plus, it was an excuse to get all dressed up and have a posh night out. 🙂

Most events like this are based in London and so it was AMAZING to actually have the chance to attend something like this up North!


Northern Blog Awards: About the night

Northern Blog Awards 2017, The Principal Hotel

The event was hosted at the stunning Principal Hotel in Manchester. I attended with my friend and fellow blogger over at Blog a Bargain (she is also trying to grow her blog so give her a follow!)

Northern Blog Awards - Before

We arrived to a glass of fizz and and a chance to network before being seated for a stunning 3 course meal.

Northern Blog Awards 2017, The Principal Hotel

It was then time for the awards.

It’s a big dream of mine to have my blog nominated at an event such as this (maybe next year? :)) So it was fascinating for me to see all the amazing blogs that were nominated and that won.

After the awards, there was a band on and a chance for more drinks and chatting (or dancing for some!)

Overall, we both really enjoyed the event. We met some lovely people and what was great was that EVERYONE was so open, friendly and approachable. It didn’t matter if you had a small blog and were just setting out, or if you had thousands of followers. I just love Manchester and the North for that!

Plus, the goody bag was beyond AMAZING!

I also wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you to the organisers. It was an incredibly well organised event and I predict that it will only get bigger and more special each year. I’m proud to have been part of the first ever one and I’m already looking forward to attending next year! 🙂

Louise X


Photography by The Vain Photography

@thevainphotos


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