Monday, July 6, 2015

June 23, 2015: Great Wall of China Trek, Day 3: Gubeikou Wall

Great Wall of China Trek, Day Three
9 km with 515 meters of elevation gain

We awoke, ate breakfast, met Jimmy in the hotel lobby, and rode two and a half hours west to Gubeikou.

Passing time in the car

We arrived at the guest house, Jumanyuan, in time for lunch.  Jumanyuan is in a little village that's nestled in a narrow valley; it's at the base of a few entry-points to the Wall.



One thing that struck us as unusual, though it is actually common in China, was the bathroom -- the toilet and shower are in one area.  When you shower, the toilet gets wet (we remembered to move the toilet paper).


Our bedroom was bright and comfortable.


We put our things in our room and sat down for lunch.


The meals at the guest house were outstanding.  Home cooked food and plenty of it -- I didn't get photos of the full table on this day, but trust me when I say all the items were delicious.

We began our hike soon after we ate.  A local man, the brother of the female owner of the guest house, joined Jimmy as our second guide.  He spoke no English, but communicated with smiles and small hand gestures.  He liked to be called "Mr. Lee."

Mr. Lee led the way -- we began by walking over some railroad tracks.



The trail was dry and dusty.  It reminded me of hiking Guadalupe Peak in Texas.





Our pace was moderate and the grade was never steep for long.  This was good, because the day was hot.  Actually, the temperature was average for China, but for us it was high.

After a 515 meter ascent, we reached the Wall!  We could see it around us as we climbed.



Almost there!


We reached the top of the path and...wow!  This part of the Wall is original (not restored), hence the crumbling bits.




Selfie

Sitting on the Wall, taking photos


Me and Mr. Lee



All in all it's just a...




The breeze felt nice up there.  After we lounged a bit, we headed down using a different path.

video




We stopped by a tower to take in the views.




We eventually wound our way down to a temple...


...and then to the street....


...after which, our driver took us back to the guest house.


We would stay at this guest house one more day and hike another nearby part of the Wall the following morning (stay tuned for Day Four).

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