And on to China…..

This is my second trip to China this year. The first was a total wash as far as photography was concerned, but I’m making up for it this trip. The start of the trip was not spectacular, as I was attending a conference. This was stuck in hotel time, mostly, but I did try…..

An uninspiring trip to the Hutongs yielded little, but after the conference I got a chance to visit the Great Wall of China……

More after the jump….

We headed out to the Jiankou section of the wall. Miscommunication with our driver got us heading in the wrong direction for a while, but google maps fixed that. Traffic was abominable, but we eventually got to the north side of the wall opposite Jiankou, through the village of Xizhazi. A stiff climb and scramble (I am not as agile or spritely as I once was), fending off bugs that seem to appreciate us bring nutrients into the area, we attained the wall. This is wild wall, completely unrestored, derelict and overgrown, and utterly beautiful.

This section of the wall is not for the fainthearted, or old and chubby like your’s truly. It is a difficult haul, particularly with a photo backpack on in 30°C temperatures. There are frequently no steps, just rubble and the side walls are down. If it was raining this would not be a place I would have attempted.

For all the sweat and effort, it was worth it. The pictures may not do it justice, but this is a special place. One of the few places where you can see a practical display of imperial power designed to impress, and it surely does. Never mind the bugs, and the sweat. We achieved one or the things on my bucket list. Sure, we could have gone to one of the sanitized, rebuilt tourist hollows, but it’s not enough to have seen the wall. This was an experience.

More to come…….

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