It started like any other sightseeing trip, waking up early. Let me tell you, I was not thrilled! I know, I was off to see The Great Wall Of China, I should of been excited. But I DON”T do morning, regardless of where I am. Anywho, after dragging my self on the bus, I remembered it was Joel’s birthday! And what a way to spend it!
After an hours drive we reached our destination, filed out of the bus and got our tickets. First things first, you actually have to climb a million stairs before you reach the Wall itself. So up we went, half way through, I was half dead and sucking on my asthma puffer like a junkie. When the tour guide told me I could of taken the cable car. What! Could of said that before, buddy (my thoughts on the matter)!! Oh well, all in the name of adventure, right! Besides I needed the exercise.
We reached the top and Joel, fit as a fiddle, camera ready and dying to take the long route on offer, pulled me the rest of the way up. Now, can I just say. So. Worth. It.
Once I had my breathing calmed and a moment to take in the fact that I was standing on the freaking Great Wall of China, a wonder of the world! I was A Okay with the stairs and got my trooper face on, ready to tackle the wall.
It. Was. Hard.
Each section of the wall takes about 10 minute at a consistent pace before you reach a tower and move to the next section. Joel and I took our time and snapped away at everything we saw. It was amazingly beautiful up there. The scenery was exquisite, stunning lash mountains and vegetation everywhere you looked. The day had cooled and a soothing breeze blew across our beet red faces. I began to enjoy myself after the intense rush to get up to the Wall. The only downfall, was the swarms of tourists. Clusters of white shirted people following and man with a flag, hundreds of people huffing and puffing, all in the same boat of strained exertion and the will to keep moving.
Within a few hours Joel had racked up a few thousand photos and we had reached an extremely steep section of the Wall. Deciding to take a break we sat down and munched on chocolate bars. By this stage time was running away and we needed to make it back for the bus. Much to our relief, as we were procrastinating on taking the steep stairs.
Less than a minute into our journey back, it began to rain. We had just made it to the nearest tower, when it began to pour down! The rain was a nice cool down, yet, then the temperature dropped and, only in a sun dress, I was freezing! While us, and a crowd of tourist, huddled in the tower wishing the rain would stop, we considered taking a cable car back down the mountain or just waiting it out. While we were decision making, the cable car had stopped due to the weather and as we turned around it seemed most of the tourists had fled for it before it shut. Our only choice was to walk all the way along the wall and back the way we came up… So brave it, we did.
Best decision we ever made. Apparently people don’t like to get wet, oh and wet we got, dripping wet. Everyone seemed to have fled the rain AND the Wall! There was barely a soul in sight, the only people we came across were a few that were left in the towers, escaping the rain. So basically we had the Great Wall of China to ourselves. Joel and I took our time and enjoyed the experience in peace, although I was shivering. We skipped, we danced, laughed and giggled our way back, all in dripping wet bliss. We both shouted to the world our joy and birthday wishes for Joel as the rain dulled the echo. It was one of those moments where life could not get any better. For Joel it was a birthday story to tell the grandkids.
Frolicking in the rain