Great Wall, great walk!

Love makes a family in china – August 2017

Here we are at the great wall of China ( see our previous post to find out how it got there)

Finally, when we speak of the Great Wall of China, it is a very small part of it. We chose Mutianyu (well it was rather Natacha who did all the work: spotted photos, plans on the internet, compared options, reserved a room in the countryside not far from the entrance of the site).


The site is a AAAAA : Chinese ranking which means: “Come visit us, it’s too good”.

And frankly, they’re right.





I almost cried when I saw the construction perched on the mountain. Yes, there, just leaving the visitor center (for Chinese because nothing is in English). Of course there are lots of food and souvenirs stores, a pizza restaurant and a Burger King but far away we can glimpse a line that winds on top of the mountain. Bluffing, Beautiful.

“I almost cried”

OK, now we still have to climb on it. After a small rodeo by bus, we arrive at the true point of departure towards the wall (where there is a steep slope to warm up before going to check the tickets.

Petit bout de muraille
A small part of the great wall

For the first day, we took the option “Level 1 – Beginner”: we went up and down by cable car (anyway the one way, it was almost the same price).

We do not know if this is still the case but there was no waiting, we went into a cabin and we went to the top (in the middle) of trees … Wonderful (again)!

“Thousands of steps”

Des marches !
Steps !

Then we planned a small hike to the western end of the Grat Wall. We had difficulties finding information about the length and difficulty of the walk. On internet, some guides make the visit of the portion in 5 hours so we said: we make half the first day and we will see …

Well it was a beautiful walk or rather beautiful steps !!!! There are small steps, long steps, tall steps, narrow steps, thousands of steps … It is really incredible that Chines have climbed here to make so many steps!

We loved it ! it is exhausting but the view … Magnificent (I have already said?)

Grande muraille de Chine - Mutianyu
China Great Wall – Mutianyu

Sacha has shown an extraordinary energy (but quite common for him, he is almost never tired …). He immediately understood the principle: we can climb without problems, if we take breaks. So we opted for the walk-breaks. Very effective especially when it is 34 ° and full sun !! We were hot !!! We had already gotten hot in Beijing and it was stuffy, but there it was hot and sunny and not too much shade. So when we arrived in the guard towers, we took advantage of the relative freshness. Natacha used without moderation her little square of sponge, totally indispensable when you sweat with big drops !!

“We got hot!”

In the video, Natacha thanks Sacha because it is thanks to him that we came to China and in particular to see the great wall. She also speaks of a hike of a little more than an hour: I think she had sunburned on her head because we stayed at least 3 hours up there !! Impossible to say the distance nor the difference in altitude traveled because our smartphone applications are not reliable when it comes to climbing steps !! But this Great Wall is very steep. It followed the ridge of the mountain (I still wonder how it is possible, despite the two documentaries seen on the subject).

Sacha reminded us that it is cement with sticky rice that holds the walls and he studied the local centipede until touching one imprudently, fortunately those are not urticking …

that’s for the first day.

On the second day, we went back to the same starting point but we took the “Level 3 – Master” option. To begin our walk on the wall and deserve the descent in sledge, we decided to climb to the wall, walking !! We had imagined a path winding through the mountains. Ah no… There was more steps… … with some areas to rest in between steps. Sacha loved this principle of small picnic space / break (often there was also a coffee table (all in cement, solid!)), he wanted to try them all. In short, it was hot but at least we were under the trees. Magnificent (I repeat I think).

“Level 3 – Master”

30 minutes later we were again on the wall, again moved. We spotted the departure of the summer sledge, not far, perfect. We continue our way on a part of the wall that we did not know yet 🙂

Once at the departure zone of the sledge, it was still early. We wanted to enjoy it a little more and I wanted to spend some time meditating (the place really inspired me). After a good descent to reach the toilets built on the margin of the Wall in the nature, Sacha was up for a challenge: “I want to go to the end of the section of the other side of the Wall”. Here we are walking full “East”, to go up, to go down, to ascend, to run down … A real rollercoaster this wall! but at snail speed because it must be admitted that it is a good workout for the legs!

We went all the way, Sacha was a bit disappointed because there was nothing more than an umpteenth guard tower (surprise). But guess what …. it was beautiful!

Great Wall - Mutianyu
Great Wall – Mutianyu

I was crimson (new word in Sacha’s vocabulary).

We ended up having a drink in the local cafe as expensive as in Paris !!! the scam but there are no crowds of terraces up there and we negotiated the price anyway, so that was a half-scam! Natacha and Sacha played card games, I meditated in the brouhaha (the seller triggered his megaphone as soon as he saw foreign tourists I think he said “Come, come, I will charge you Sprite at very high price but you will be delighted! “In truth he said something like” cold drink, ice cream “with a Chinese accent and the megaphone it was great.

Last glance on the wall … Magnificent (I had to do it).

The sledge run that Sacha wanted to go down as fast as possible but there was some sleigh traffic jam as Chinese women in front of us did not not go fast enough! It was still “not too bad” as Sacha said, not hiding too much his disappointment regarding the average speed of descent! For the moms it was very good and it will be the conclusion of this long article. Thank you for reading it, put a little comment if you like and watch the video for more magnificence (English subtitle available)!


Magnificent !




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