Today was all about The Great Wall of China. We visited the Great Wall in 2014 when we came with Abbie to adopt Malachi. It was incredible then- and just as incredible now. There are myths about the wall. First, it is not one continuous wall. Two, you cannot see The Great Wall from the Moon.
When we came four years ago, we saw what we wanted to of the area. We had a good time watching the locals take pictures of Abbie (Blond hair!). But today we stepped up our game. This particular section of the wall is a 3km loop up and down some mountains. The stairs are steep and uneven. With Chloe’s approval, we decided to see how much of the loop we could hike in two hours.
We started out going along with everyone else, hitting the “steep side” first. It was a bit arduous. Andrea and I have both been running and working out, but we were also sucking air on some of the sections of the wall. Chloe, on the other hand, was excited and motivated. She served as encouragement for Andrea and I, calling out to us to “Pick up the pace” and “just a little bit farther.” She had a bounce in her step all day.
We made it to the peak fortress in about 45 minutes. By this time, the crowds had thinned out and we had most of the rest of the walk to ourselves. The views were still breathtaking even though a thick smog was present from Beijing. The walk down from the peak was steep, but our muscles were happy not to be climbing.
We also knew that we had to make a decision. We were either going to walk the entire thing and be late getting back to the bus, or we were going to walk about half of what was left where we were pretty sure that there was an escape route back to the beginning. Thankfully, we were able to get off the wall and back on level ground. The excitement didn’t end there as we realized that we were know outside of the park and had to get back in without our tickets, which our tour guide had. Andrea saved the day and used her Mandarin skills to ask if anyone spoke English at the ticket booth and we were let back in the park and reunited with our group.
We had a great day, making some memories that will stay with us for a long time! Tomorrow, we say good-bye to Beijing and fly to Guangzhou to prepare to receive Caleb into our family on Monday!