Friday, August 18, 2006

Who put this bloody wall here?!

Greetings again.

We are not in Mongolia yet... somebody has blocked the access to the north with a bloody huge wall! We walked along it for kilometres but couldn't find a way across. I tried yelling for somebody to open a door but the only person to answer was Ghengis something and he didn't seem to have a key...

Sooooo.. aaaanyway. Yesterday Girlclumsy and I took a 6 hour bus ride out to a non-touristy part of the Great Wall of China.. and yes... it is Great. If somebody managed to build such an edifice today I would still be impressed. To think it was put up over 2000 years ago staggered me!

We didn't want to see the usual touristy great wall spot at Badaling (in fact if i went to The Great Wall of China and saw McDonalds and a bowling alley I would have been very very angry) so we made our way (by a very long and terrible bus ride) out to Simatai and took the cable car up the very very steep mountain to the wall. From there we trekked 10 kilometres along the wall..... holy *bleeping* hell! That was one mean trek! Imagine hiking along steep mountains and then add the fun fact of a huge bloody wall blocking your path! At some points we had to crawl up the near vertical steps. It took us about 4 1/2 hours to get to the bus pick up point. Along the way we we followed the badgered by chinese and mongolian people tryibng to sell us overpriced water, cola and beer.. yup .. beer.. and somehow they had managed to keep it all ice cold in 33C heat! Once again I have to point out how fantastic this wall is. (Anybody who knows me knows I have a thing for ancient walls eg Hadrian's Wall. Everytime i slipped or tripped I was able to catch myself before I was hurt. I felt so lucky that I came up with this saying "This wall and I.. we have an understanding" I think Girlclumsy was really sick of hearing it as she scraped and blooded her way along the top of the wall) It sits ontop of the steepest peaks and utterly dominates the surrounding landscape. How they managed to build this thing is totally beyond me but it proves how utterly terrified they must have been of the Mongolians. I was only scared of one mongolian.. she wanted me to buy water from her and became quite enraged when i bought it cheaper from a chinese man (i know he was chinese as he was wearing a yellow star on his military cap). I hope i didnt sour Sino-Mongolian relations ;)

At the end is the hike we did the tourist thing of taking a flying fox (trapeze... not the rodenty animal) down the mountain to the carpark.

If you ever get a chance to see the Great Wall... take it.. if you can survive the walk.. do it.. but even if you don't want the pain and suffering of walking the eighth wonder of the world you should still see it in person.


In other news.. went to a market with Girlclumsy and bought many cheap touristy knickknacks. Girlclumsy had a great time haggling with the locals while hung back looking bemused. I did weaken and buy myself a terribly cheap pair of black and white converse shoes.. why? Coz the new Doctor Who wears them... ;) Well his are brown.

Better run... best wishes to you all. Feel free to email and I will try and write back when i can



Anonymous said...

How did they do it you ask?
Well it's all very simple really.
Take umpteen million slaves, upteen biilion blocks and lots of cement... wave sharp pointythings at the slaves and... Mao's your father of the nation.
Aaaah !!!! such inscrutability

Anonymous said...

Just letting you know... your old flat.. has one very thin layer of white paint... OVER the wallpaper (no they didnt bother to remove it, nor strip the old flaking paint off the walls, they just painted right over that too).

and the Realestate stole part of your doorbell ? the part the rings, I dont know why... I cant really seem to get an answer from them ...So now there's just a button on the door that does nothing...

.....and your bloody magpies wont go away ...


The Wah said...

They didnt paint it properly?
bastards.. cheap bastards

Sorry to here that... but dont take it out on the butcher birds! They just want your love... and FLESH!!