It rained until the afternoon today. When it stopped I waited half an hour before packing the semi dry tent.
The Great Wall has been better preserved on the walk today. So have the watchtowers. In some places the core of The Wall had earth, making it much easier to walk on as it is flatter and has no lose and sliding rocks.
When I got down to the valley where there is a large water reservoir, I met a man in a field. I asked him if it was possible to climb the first part of a mountain safely, to get to the start of the Great Wall.
He turned around and pointed to the base of the mountain. At first I though he was joking as the place looked very steep. Then I saw a barely noticeable line through the thick foliage. I was lucky, because this man knew exactly what he was talking about.
I thanked him and walked over to the starting point. Started climbing the side of the mountain following the track. The foliage got thicker and I had to use my sticks to bend it away to check the ground was safe. A large part of the walk was only a short distance from the ever higher drop to my left.
After a while I thought this was like an adventure of Indiana Jones. Following a secret long forgotten path clinging on to the side of a mountain. Then the Indiana Jones factor was further heightened when my head was covered by a large thick spider web… We are not talking about a couple of threads here, but a large web. It felt like it was wrapped around my face and on the sides, being lodged behind my ears to make it stick. I remember hoping the spider was not walking around on my face as I tried to remove the web… I was happy when I finally got to the Great Wall.
From there, I climbed most of the remainder of the day. On one stretch there were steep drops on both sides, and The Wall was replaced by a couple of stretches where I needed to climb on all fours to get past.
Looking back towards the end of the day, I could see the reflection of the sun in the reservoir, and The Wall following the narrow ridge I had passed. A beautiful sight!
The walking has been slow today – less than 3 km/h. But I’m very happy with the progress considering the weather and terrain.
8 kilometres today