Our second full day together at Team Black Dog brought loads more memories, laughs and, of course, PICTURES. Naturally, Vicki (aka Unfazed Beauty) showed up to breakfast looking far too put together for someone about to trek across the Great Wall. After taking on the elevator crowds of the Dongfang Hotel (2 elevators, 500 tourists, the same departure time), we slowly pulled away from the curb and out of bustling Beijing.
You can literally watch as high rises melt away to low rises. The low rises disappear into single-story shops which, before long, devolve into rolling fields, dirt roads, and a return to a more traditional take on modern China. The fact that these two elements of the same society coexist mere miles from each other is not only fascinating but a welcome reminder of just how complex China really is.
Our lengthy bus journey was filled with the sounds of snoring (thank you Amy and Libby), eating (Thank you Geraldine and Julia), political commentary (thank you Stef and Sam), and long drawn out rounds of innuendo involving a camel bak bladder, a new hose, and an unlit mouthpiece that just needed to be sucked on a little bit harder (thank you Vicki).
We toured the Qing tombs, we ate a bountiful lunch, and we determined the best formation from which one can take a picture of someone taking a picture of something taking a picture of someone before finally reaching the wall in the early afternoon.
Just as I had experienced with every person I have ever taken to the Great Wall, jaws dropped, eyes widened, and everyone was incredibly overwhelmed. No photo I have ever seen does the Great Wall justice and to this day it remains the most remarkable site I have ever seen.
We proceeded to snake down it's craggy spine deep into the valley then back up again before finishing our several-hour walk at our hotel - a maze like structure nestled in the foothills alongside the wall itself. Our evening finished with a delectable dinner at a very local restaurant just near our hotel. Both on the way there and on the way back, I hid in the shadows of our building and scared the living daylight out of Vicki. Sometimes, it's the little things. More soon!
Location:305 Provincial Rd,Beijing,China