Got little sleep last night. It was colder than expected and I had eaten far too little.
Today I stopped at a village by a road before the Great Wall took off north-eastwards towards the mountains.
I struck lucky and got to a place with a shop and a makeshift eating place in the same house. They had yummy jaoze (small dumplings) and plenty of drink. In addition they made a salad, and I asked them to hard boil ten eggs. I ate almost one portion of dumplings and asked for another to take with me.
As I left I noticed my tripod had gone missing. It was not in their house, so it must have fallen off before I got there. It was in really really bad shape, and nut and bolts were falling off it often, But it still hung together enough for a camera to stand still long enough for a picture. I have been taking pictures of myself on and by the Great Wall lately for newspapers.
The Great Wall clings to the sides of the mountains here. Walking in hilly terrain is one thing, but water from the mountains has dug deep canyons / trenches / valleys into its sides. The Great Wall crosses them all… They are deep, 30 to 50 meters. Most of the time these canyons etc. are deeper than they are wide and are often 100% vertical.
Some places there are narrow tracks made by crazy kamikaze sheep. I follow them if I can get a good idea of how steep the track is before committing, and if it looks dry. It rained a lot four days ago and I don’t want to be in a too steep spot that is slippery. Also, the sun melts ice under the surface exposing running water.
Sometimes there is just a sheer drop. At the end of today, I had to start taking longish detours to get past the worst places which are often very close together, so you have to climb three of them for every kilometre.
I don’t think tomorrow is going to be any better. The 18 km today have been a lot harder than the 25 yesterday.
18 kilometres today