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Death Hike at Gubeikou Great Wall

After exploring Beijing for 2 days, we set out to hike the Great Wall.We were told the hike takes about 6 hours. Mel & I were kind of prepared for it but none of the others were. Lol! If the sun was out, we'd probably have a casualty among us. The plan is to walk the length of Gubeikou to Jinshanling on day 1 & then walk from Jinshanling to Simatai on day 2. Let the journey begin!

Highlights: Great, awesome trail. Its magnificent scenery all to ourselves!
Cast of Characters: Moi, Mamu, Mel, Kih, Noemi & our local guide Peter
Logistics/ Links:  We used a tour company- Panda to arrange everything for us. Here's some info I found on Gubeikou
When: We went mid- August 2010. We were super lucky it was cloudy that day (no rain). It was a perfect day for hiking. Still a bit warm but not unpleasant. The Gubeikou portion was lush & green. It was soo pretty. I saw some pics from others that showed the landscape kind of bleak & gray. I'm glad we went this time of the year.
Location: We went to this small town for the start of our trail. It was about an hour plus from Beijing on a private car. 
Cost: This was part of our tour 
Trip Report: I'll update this post with pictures from the little detour we had to take because of the closed section of the Wall. The trail was gorgeous! This is one of the best hikes I've ever done. If you find yourself in Beijing for a week, something like this is a must.

Lalalala...walking along the path to the Wall. The concrete path ends, we all stop & look around for the trail. Peter just suddenly starts whacking tall weeds & bushes. We all just look at each other then bust out laughing.

I think I see a portion of the Wall beyond the mountains ahead. Long pants definitely a must.

Kih & Noemi. It was a pretty cool experience walking through the fields of corn.
Climbing up to the start of the Wall. Mamu was already cussing me out for doing this to her, we haven't even really started yet. 
Yeeey!!!! First steps on the Wall!!! It was such an amazing feeling seeing the Great Wall stretch out along the mountains for the first time! After we got past the hills, you just hit the top & the view is just breathtaking!!!
Magnificent views! I love this picture! Omg I cant believe we walked through all of that! =O We started really early & got to Jinshanling town about 7ish. We were probably hiking for maybe 7.5hrs.

The trail begins. This is the unrestored Gubeikou portion of the Wall. We wanted to do the Simatai portion but it was closed for restoration.

Kih & Noems along the trail. Trail is moderate. I found this trail to be easier than the Jinshanling one. Its just a reeeally lengthy trip. Noems is very, very slow. Our guide Peter lent his walking stick to Mamu, but later on we just gave it to Noems. She was really slow. She is also prolly the only person that goes hiking with an Ipad on one hand & an umbrella on the other.

Great Wall= not for those afraid of heights.

Unrestored Great Wall. There was a spot of sprayed blue paint indicating the trail every so often. I probably would not try to do this independently though. Gubeikou closed off a portion of the Wall (that still held weapons from wars long ago). There's not too many people to ask if you get lost in the detour.

Stinky tourists. Good thing we were the only ones on the trail. Well, I guess we did come across 1 foreign couple & 1 other group of tourists, but aside from that we didn't encounter anybody else for the whole day. It was soo awesome having all this to yourself!!!

We were extremely lucky it was a cloudy day. Peter told us stories of how some people pass out from the heat & exhaustion.

We only had our daypacks with overnight stuff. We left most of our things at the hotel in Beijing. We were still ill-prepared for the hike though. We didn't really pack a good lunch to bring so we just snacked the whole day. Peter had this super freaking awesome instant lunch that heats up your meal when you pour a bit of water in it.

Mamu pissed at me for making her do this.

We conquered the Great Wall!!! Yeeey!!!

Little forts along the way.
There were a few locals hanging out along the way. Must be nice to have this as your picnic ground.

Noemi on a little snack break. Kih & Noems brought 1 bottle of water for the 2 of them for the whole 8 hours of hiking. Peter said "We're only 20% of the way & you've used up 80% of your water." I warned them to bring plenty of water. I ended up giving them a little bit of mine, which of course led to my lack of water towards the end of the trail. Miraculously, we stumbled upon a guy who was just standing in the middle of nowhere selling water....for 10x more of course.
Climb up to the towers.

Definitely one of the most memorable experiences of our lives!

Till next time! Peace out!

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