We’re back! And what an amazing adventure we’ve had – we are so proud to have been a part of this incredible team and we’re so overwhelmed by what everyone has achieved.
An incredible 5 days climbing the equivalent of 850 flights of stairs – over 5 times the height of the Burj Khalifa!
Thousands of steps, sheer cliff drops, stunning views, life-changing memories, and some lifelong friendships made but more importantly, we have walked with parents and families who have been directly supported by Julia’s House, which has reminded us all why we are here and the importance of fundraising. So far the group has raised just over £65,000 for Julia’s House, with more coming in as we speak. How incredible is that, well-done team ♥️
Day 1 (Beijing to Gubeikou)
Official hike name: ‘Crouching Tiger’
On Monday we enjoyed an introductory trek to prepare us for the terrain and what lied ahead. We made our way uphill and enjoyed stunning views of the Great Wall snaking across the countryside. As we descended, we dropped down the hillside and made our way through trees and woodland until we reached the small town Gubeikou and our first guesthouse.
Day 2 (Gubeikou)
Official hike name: ‘West Ditch’
On Tuesday we set off to explore the beautiful Gubeikou section of the Great Wall. Dating back to theMing Dynasty, this section of the Wall is completely original. Our guides had to request special permission to take us to this lesser-visited section and is believed to have seen more battles than any other part of the Great Wall. It has long been a place of military significance and an important passage to the capital city. We started the day by climbing part of the Wall, yes climbing, which was almost completely worn away. There were so few people around us, it really felt like we were stepping back in time.
Day 3 (Gubeikou to Jinshanling)
Official hike name: ‘Curled Up Dragon’
On Wednesday we trekked up to a section of the Wall known locally as the ‘dragon standing on the beautiful golden mountain’. It was easy to see how the Wall resembles a dragon as it weaves across the land. Unlike other sections of the Wall, this area has seen little restoration and many of the stairs and turrets have crumbled away to leave steep stone slopes between each watchtower. We descended through forests and past farmland before transferring to our guesthouse in Simatai.
Day 4 (Jinshanling to Simatai)
Official hike name: ‘East Gate’
On Thursday we trekked along a restored section of the Wall originally built in the 15th century. Before we had even started today’s section of the wall, we started with 1,487 steps, with steep descents & slippery slopes. Here we could see how the Wall looked when it was built centuries ago and could appreciate the immensity of the task and meticulous attention to detail undertaken in building this incredible structure. We were so lucky to have been able to visit such a variety of sections and truly appreciate the contrast between old and new.
Day 5 (Simatai to Beijing)
After breakfast on Friday, we started our exhilarating final trek up to a remote watchtower at 985m above sea level (to the summit of the highest point of the Great Wall) which is usually only visited by photographers and not the general public – we had to have special permission from the local farmers. After spending some time soaking up the breath-taking panorama, we descended on a wonderful winding trail through the forest and past fruit farms before transferring back to Beijing.
We can’t thank you enough for all your encouragement and generosity and to those that have donated to this amazing cause.
There is still time too by following the links here, www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lucy-mander-china-trek | www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rosie-littlejohns-trek