Our Corporate Director, Pamela, continues her journey...
Up early, a bit apprehensive for the first steps on the Great Wall, especially after very little sleep and jet lag.
Firstly a bus journey for 2 hours to Huangyaguan which is a small village in the mountains. Well, this is a taster for the week ahead I reckon -slightly terrifying.
They called it "some steep sections", I have never climbed so many or such steep steps for so long, ever. My legs were like jelly, I mean uncontrollable!
However 4 hours later our taster was over and the feeling of achievement was overwhelming.
The evening brought a few beers to celebrate and a real spirit of friendship within the group all round which ended a wonderful day.
Today has been documented all along as the toughest day of the trip which, to be honest, frightened the life out of me.
I knew we were encountering ‘heaven’s ladder’ (google it) as well as the most technically challenging tasks of the day. Believe me when I say that was an understatement!
The start was difficult with steps that I would class as 3 steps in 1 they’re so steep. You reach a point thinking you’ve started heaven’s ladder but apparently that was just the appetiser! You then have a steep climb of over 200 steps up a cliff face.
What an amazing feeling when you actually reach heaven, the views are unbelievable.
Then our lovely Chinese guide says you carry on but the worst of the climb is over...lie! We then trekked up steep forest on to the old, unrestored wall.
Part of the challenge at the top was walking on a very old, very narrow and a very high part of the old wall with a sheer drop at both sides. Now I’m not scared of heights but this freaked me out, I was in a bit of a panic (unfortunately no way back) but absolutely had to do it. Emotions were high (shed an actual tear) but I conquered it.
It was then a tricky downhill battle on rubble, fell over a couple of times but actually pretty softly. At the end, we walked through a village to a Farmer’s house for another Chinese feast and celebration - definitely think it was deserved after 8 hours trekking and overcoming fears.