Monday, June 15, 2009

Great Expectations

Day 460
I was up at 6 am and was picked up half an hour later. I sat next to Sarah from Texas, who was also headed to Mongolia in a few days. Most of the bus was filled with a high school group from Texas. I don't think I've been around this many American's since I left the country.

Now, I've seen pictures of the Great Wall, but I figured that a 10 km (6 mile) walk would be nothing. If anyone tells you that they are lying. Luckily there are a lot of people around and everyone is chatty and friendly. I spent some time with Sarah, but she was too fast for me and we were soon separated. Several of the high school kids seemed to be racing to the end. Tyler was slower though and I spent quite a bit of time chatting with him. Still I fell behind. It wasn't because I am terribly out of shape, but because I was taking a lot of pictures, yea, that's it.

Parts of the wall had been restored, but they were still very steep. Other bits were crumbling away. I fell on a pile of dirt and landed on my butt. A few minutes later my right leg went out from under me. I ended up with a lot of scratches and a pretty nasty cut on my toe, but I was lucky. One of the people who saw me fall said that my leg went at such an odd angle he thought I had broken it. Several people helped me up and helped me get cleaned up. For the rest of the trek an English couple stuck to my pace to make sure I didn't hurt myself again. It was very nice of them.

At the end of the trek I found Tyler waiting for his teacher. I had thought I was the last one and was happy to know that I wasn't. To get off the wall you can either walk down a hill or take a zip line across a small river. I went with the latter. It was brilliant. My legs felt like jelly as well and I don't think that I could have walked any more.

On the three hour ride back I sat next to a Parisian who was studying in China. We chatted until we got to Beijing and I went back to my hostel.

That evening I had some well deserved drinks before calling it a night.

No comments: