13 July 2008

Great Wall Ball

by Chris

Talk about a great road trip ! On Sunday a group of us hired a van for a trip to the Great Wall at Simatai, about 120km from Beijing.
Brian, Will, Halliday, Chai, Tom, Jess & myself walking up to the wall from the parking lot. Hey this isnt so bad, nice paved road. That didn't last long.
Did I mention that at Simatai its basically all up hill ? The stairs are uneven, but it was a beautiful day for a hike/climb.

The part of the Wall we were going to hike has 14 towers and 49 gazillion steps

This is the least visited area of the Wall in the Beijing area. Its the furthest from Beijing and not as tourist friendly....although the locals are extremely friendly.

above, Brian explains lacrosse to one of the many curious passersby. Thats right, we all brought our lacrosse sticks...more on that later.
The scenery is breathtaking...mainly because you were climbing stairs the whole time.
Several times the boys stopped to play ball with the locals. We even climbed up on a guard tower and had a catch...until Flaco lost the ball over the side...and it bounced into Mongolia.
above, Chai & Tom soaking it all in.

below, Flaco wondering if he can climb down and get the ball.

below, we told Flaco that since he had lost the ball, he had to go in this cave and come out with either a Panda or a Dragon....he found neither
There are people all over the Wall trying to sell you water, beer or "I climbed the Great Wall" stuff...but they are all very friendly. below Brian sits and talks with some new friends.
We all took tons of pictures. make sure you click on one or two to see them full size...beautiful

Do you see the horse shaped cloud in the picture above ?

This guy is gonna be suprised when he wakes up.
We stopped for lunch at a restaraunt a 5 minute walk from the wall. We were the only ones there.
Flaco, Chris, Halliday, Chai, Tom, Brian & Jess
The food was AMAZING, look at this stuff !

Eggs, dumplings, Kung pao, beef, eggplant and cold beer

Tom armwrestled everyone at the Great Wall (at least 3) including our waitress who beat him handily.
She was very fond of Tom after that and insisted on helping him digest by rubbing his belly.

Brian & Jess didn't even notice.

After a long day hiking, you can take the cable car down...not on this day We had other plans anyway...the ZIPLINE ! Wooohoooooo !
From the Wall, across the river to the bottom of the valley..about 30 seconds of fun.
As part of your zip line ride you also get a boat ride to the parking lot.

Upon returning to Beijing, we met up with friends at a Chinese Muslim restaraunt for more food, beer and good times. What a truly great day.
Only one week left in China, this has been one hell of a trip.
Thank you China...here's a hug for ya


Alli Arnold said...

OK now I am jealous. Now I want to visit China. Thanks for posting all of this!!!

xo Alli

Anonymous said...

What great pictures and fantastic subjects. Click click to the zipline & Great wall hug thank you very much. didn't you see the sign? The food looked like a still life it was beautiful.

Becky said...

This is the coolest! What a day. Did you leave that Sunny Delight for the sleeping child as well?
Did you see David Copperfield there?

Kelly & Chris said...

They dont give the kids the sunny delight, they schlep it all the way up the mountain to sell it to tourists...the beer under the table is his.