DAY 32

Week 5

BEIJING (Beijing, CHN)

Monday August 6th, 2017

TODAYS MILEAGE – 97 miles or 156 kilometres
TRIP MILEAGE – 32,301 miles or 51,983 kilometres

I got up bright and early in search of a decent cup of coffee and not the cracker dust crap from "brand name" franchises. Two blocks over from the hotel, my nose led me to a local "Cholera cart" that was offering fresh roasted coffee, while the guy next to him had egg roll wraps that went perfect with my cup o' Joe.

I got back to our accomodations at the Chong Wen Men Hotel about 10 minutes prior to the assigned departure time for the day trip to Mutianyu section of The Great Wall and waited ... and waited ... and waited.

Our (Chief Experience Officer) Lee gets on the blower a couple of times and finally Don comes out the elevator puffing like an old steam train and sweating profusely like Michael Jackson at a kindergarten. As we get settled into the 2-hour mini-van ride to the Great Wall, I ask Don what ailment is affecting him - chronic Type 2 diabetes was his answer. My next question was did he make note of that on his traveller information form. No was his reply, as he said he had it all in control.

We get up to Mutianyu Great Wall and after considering the physical restraints of my back injuries, I paid the CNY 120 ($24AUD/$19USD) for a round trip cable car ride up to the No. 14 Watchtower, rather than climbing the seemingly thousands of steep steps to get up there.

In using this map of the Great Wall, you can see roughly where I walked out to No. 23 Watchtower, retraced my steps back to No. 6 Watchtower, before heading back to the cable car upper station. Let me tell you straight up - what an absolutely brilliant experience!!! From the great views out over China that mark you arrival at the top of the wall, to the logistics of building the structures, as well as the history of the Wall, all makes for another "Bucket List" moment that I savoured every moment of.

We had a late lunch at one of the Mutianyu Village eateries, but more worrying was Don deterioration in health, as he was obviously in distress. He was soaking wet with beads of sweat rolling off him, his mouth was dry and as he sits with his processed meat Subway roll, two packet of chips and a large Coke, I can only shake my head as he obviously has no intention of looking after his condition.

During the two hour return ride home, Don drifts in and out of consciousness and nearly collapses while getting out of the van, saying he was feeling light headed. Hopefully he is feeling better in the morning.

• BEIJING ~ More Street Signs & Notices (Beijing, CHN)
• MUTIANYU ~ The Great Wall (Beijing, CHN)

Day 2 - Beijing & Great Wall's Mutianyu Section
Head out to discover the wonders of the Great Wall of China.
Travel north to the Great Wall. One of the most iconic sights in all of China, spend the better part of the day exploring and taking photos, soaking in the atmosphere.
Climb the rolling hills of Huairou County at Mutianyu, one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall. Enjoy scenic views as the wall winds along mountain ridges, and take brag-worthy photos of the wall from any of the 22 towers.
The cable car ride is about 5 minutes ride up to tower 14, from where you may walk to the highest point of Mutianyu Great Wall at Tower 23. The walk from ticket check to tower 10 is about 30 minutes. The cable car ride is a good option if you are hoping to save energy to challenge the Tower 23. Return ticket is recommended as you may spend more time on the wall.