Camping on the Great Wall

October 5/6 I joined a Beijing Hikers group for an overnight hike on the Great Wall. We hiked from GuBeiKou pass to Jin Shan Ling. These are two beautiful sections of the Wall. I’ve probably been to the Great Wall ten times or more since 2007. My wife’s reaction still sums up the feeling I have when walking on this most famous of man made structures throughout history. As she stood on the same walkway where soldiers from the Ming army watched for any possible Mongolian armies 600 years ago, Ann so eloquently said, ” I can’t believe I’m on the f***ing Great Wall!” While I don’t repeat her words, the sentiment is with me every time I head north to another section of the Wall. By the way, trivia fact, the Chinese do not call it The Great Wall. Their term, Chang Cheng, literally means “Long Wall.” It’s only westerners who arrived in the 1800’s decided the wall was “Great.” It was quite special to camp out in a guard tower overnight with a small group all by ourselves. Usually the Wall has lots of people walking over it’s terrain, but as the afternoon turned to evening and night, we enjoyed beautiful skies, stars and a rising moon. While it was quite cold (40 degrees farenheit ) considering the day before it had been 85, I was so happy to be sleeping on history! A historian’s dream. It also gave me a chance to shoot some photos with lighting I hadn’t ever seen before on the Wall. Most of the time I’m bringing groups here and our arrival time is horrible for taking photos-usually about 11:00 am. So this was a rare opportunity. I’ve selected some of the best. Enjoy.

Our evening lodging is visible in this photo
Our lodging


3 thoughts on “Camping on the Great Wall

  1. Strange to see that I didn’t comment earlier. If you really want to learn about life near the Great Wall read Peter Hessler’s books. He recently moved to Chengdu after a decade in Cairo, so be on the look out for any new writings.

    Liked by 1 person

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