THE Great Wall of China was once a very great wall indeed. A new survey shows that all the bits joined together would have stretched halfway round the equator.
Chinese state archaeologists have declared the Great Wall to be 21,196.18km long – more than double the previous estimate. The figure includes immense stretches that have vanished or are visible only to the trained eye. The Great Wall of worldwide popular imagination – turreted stonework snaking over mountain ridges – is the one reconstructed by the Ming emperors of the 14th century.
(The local water vendor and me.. taking a break)
(Amazing and spectacular viewing)
The Great Wall at Mutianyu is a little further from Beijing than the most popular section at Badaling, but it doesn’t get as crowded. This section of the Wall is fully restored, there are hand rails to help you up on the very steep parts and the views are spectacular. We bought entry tickets and chair lift passes to take us up to the Southern Peak at the Mutianyu entrance. From here you can go North / East to a non tourist section of the wall or West and head along the safer option to the highest tip.
Then take the cable car back down to base. Its a tingly feeling to be on that wall. Part of history. And its hot, so drink plenty of fluids and take your time. Stair master workout is nothing on this climb.
Sweaty, exhausted and jubilant. Goal achieved…..