A little something I wrote on the 30th of October.
“I’ve just had the most mesmerising day. After only having slept for two and a half hours because there was a Halloween party the night before, we headed towards the Great Wall. And no, not the touristy bit, but the ruins. First 40 min on the subway, then an hour and a half on a bus (that we got scammed off of haha we got woken up and we thought the driver was saying we already arrived… They were just guys that wanted to drive us there instead hah so we just took the next bus 😉 ) Anyways, after the bus ride we had another hour and a half cab ride to the middle of nowhere. We walked up to part of the wall where we could get on. It’s almost literally all ruins, not a lot of it is fully intact. We get up and it’s already taking my breath away.
We start climbing, literally on our hands and knees, up the wall. Some parts seem pretty intense. We hike for about an hour and then have lunch on one of the towers. We realise we are on the long route and not the short one Monica had planned…
After lunch (rice, sweet and sour pork and bok choy, so fucking good) we decide to carry on. No regrets right? Within the first 5 min we hit a part of the wall that almost makes me want to go back. It was literally straight up, I can only call it actual mountain climbing but then without the gear. It was fucking vertical. The first couple steps are okay, but then I get to a point where I can’t reach a good grip. My heart is racing at this point. I’m out of breath. If I fall back, I will literally die. I scan the wall over and over again and eventually find a small opening that gives me just enough support. My legs and arms are shaking. I’m legitimately scared. I just go for it. Fuck it. I was so thankful for my upper body strength! I essentially pulled my way up… When I stood up on that part of the wall I felt as though I was on top of the world, it was majestical. I look around, I’m breathing heavily, I can’t believe it. I just did THAT, here…
I see the wall swirling through the mountains with such grace. The weather is great, the sun shines, the sky is clear. Monica gets up and we are both so happy, genuine happiness… we continue on. There are a couple really intense vertical climbs, but all equally as rewarding. At one point, we reach a part where on the left it goes straight down and if you fall you’re done. I lean against the wall, my arms spread wide, I find grip and slowly move down. I can turn, I press my body against the wall, and find a better grip. At this point there is nothing for my feet to grip on, and I’m literally holding on with only my hands. I work my way down. I feel like I’m walking over a vertical wall!! I finally get low enough, I jump. That was amazing! The adrenaline is running high… I feel high off life. That was the coolest fucking thing ever!!!
We keep going. We come to another checkpoint where there’s a man that has put a ladder up. You have to pay to us the ladder, but we don’t wanna pay. Fuck that. There are two guys in the tower where we need to be: Monica just goes all spider man on the tower. Starts climbing against a flat wall. She gets up about a meter and one of the guys sticks out his hand. She’s so badass she doesn’t even need it. She up in the tower, I go next! Okay, we just saved less than 2 euros and made friends, so worth it! We ended up taking a picture with them and talking for a short bit. One of them was a photographer! (Had this huge, massive-ass camera with him!!)
Happy, content and high off life, Monica and I continue. There is a point where we need to cut through the woods. Monica thinks she remembers the path, so we take a right… After ten minutes of crazy downhill she changes her mind and we go back. As we continue over the wall she decided it was the right path after all and we go back… Only this time it takes her 25 min to say it’s the wrong path. We go back only to realise the path she was looking for was only 100 meters further. Anyway, good for cardio right… My heart is going nuts, so at this point we have our first and only break before heading on the proper path. We have pumpkin cake and roasted chestnuts.
After we finished the path through the woods, we get back onto the wall. This part is semi restored and not too difficult. The scenery around is breathtaking. The sun starts setting slowly. The sky is all sorts of blue, yellow, orange and pink. We walk, we talk. The wall counties to elegantly work it’s way around the mountains. We are literally at a loss for words. How do you describe something that is so utterly beautiful? The vastness of it all is unfathomable. I close my eyes, it feels as though the wind can go right through me. I can’t help but smile.
We see couples of all ages walk by holding hands. Beautiful. Romantic. A girl can dream.
Life is good. I feel a new kind of freedom.
By now my knees are dead, the last hour of the walk was literally painful but worth every second of it. After taking a cable car down, I’m now on the bus on my way back.
Today was magical. “