Great Wall Of China Charity Challenge 2009

Helen's Diary - My trip to China to walk part of the Great Wall to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign was, you'll be pleased to hear, a great success. It lived up to the name of Challenge but it was an amazing experience and more than worth the effort. Have a look at my exploits ...

You can still donate on-line to this worth-while cause.

(Click on photos for bigger views.)

Carp At The Hostel

So, we arrived in Beijing and headed north. This is the courtyard of the first hostel we stayed in. In true Chinese style, the fishpond was full of carp and goldfish.


Black Dragon Pools

The first day was acclimatising at the Black Dragon Pools - and our first taste of the very dramatic Chinese scenery. It was about 26°C but there was still snow on the ground from the week before. Seasons change very fast in China!


Tricky Descent

We started the walk on the tourist route with the many Chinese who were enjoying a day in the country (and who were pretty fascinated by the walking poles we all carried!) then we went off the main track for a wilder walk/ scramble. Here we are, negotiating a rather tricky descent.


First Group Photo

Our first group photo!


First Day On The Wall

Our first day on the Wall and we were lucky enough to be on a remote section with not a tourist (except ourselves) in sight.


I, Conquerer!

I conquer the heights of the Great Wall of China!


Ruined Watch Tower

This part of the Wall is not often walked and so much of it was in quite a state of ruin. This ruined watch tower still looks pretty impressive though.


Meet The Kids

Our third day took us on a long walk through the valley on the way to the Wall. We stopped off at a small school and met the kids.


Classroom

Break finished and we got a peek of them at lessons. Very organised as you might imagine!


Long Steep Walk

Finally we got to the Wall. It had been a long steep walk and it was very VERY hot - I didn't think I'd make it to the highest point that day ... but here I am with the rest of the group. It was well worth the toil.


Big Feast

It was a big spread, but we deserved it!


Ruth, Lisa and Wendy

Ruth, Lisa and Wendy.


Sarah And Fizz

Sarah and Fizz


A Steady Trek Upwards

A steady trek upwards ...


Debbie and Ange

Debbie and Ange.


Pose For Ok Magazine

Here's one of our many publicity shots - and a desperate bid to get the Charity Challenge group into OK magazine!


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Margie, Deb, Simon and Jacqui


There is a Cable Car? Now You Say!

Me and Julia just off the Wall and about to head onto the cable car down (we walked up to the Wall - think we might have taken the cable car the wrong way!)


Jade Factory

Back in Beijing we took a trip first to the jade factory. This guy's making a Chinese cabbage out of jade. It's a symbol of good luck.


Beijung Delicacies

In the evening we walked down to the night market to sample some Beijing delicacies ...


Barbecued Scorpion

... including barbecued scorpion ...


Seahorses

I drew the line at eating seahorses though ... (aren't they a protected species??) ... Much happier getting my feet massaged after the long ordeal ... I mean walk ... at the next stop. No photo of this one!


Armed Guard In Tianaman Square

Here's the sterner face of China - the armed guard in Tianaman Square.


Mausoleum of Mao

Chinese will make at least one pilgrimage to Tianaman Square in their life time. They come in huge organised groups all wearing coloured caps and queue for hours to go into Mao's mausoleum. Its size makes Lenin's look puny!


Forbidden City
Forbidden City

After being photographed by some of the tourists desperate to have their picture taken with a Westerner, we had a look inside the Forbidden City. A very imposing place and some beautiful architecture, although very uniform. Quite weird.


Tea Ceremony

And then off to a tea ceremony - or part of one. The real ones last days.


Silk Factory

And off again, this time to the silk factory. These ladies are showing us how they turn the silk yarns into a duvet.


Peking Duck!

And our last stop of the tour - a celebratory Peking duck banquet. Cue a silly shot of Margie and Simon ... and the Peking duck itself!




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