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.