Camping on the Great Wall
You heard right!

I don't even know where that idea came from.. I think Vicky mentioned it, and I was like... "camping?", on the Great wall? Yes! A lot of people do that actually! I got in touch with a guy from Couchsurfing who posted his plans on the Beijing Forum, and we ended up going together!

Chris, a 29 year old Canadian from Vancouver and Tomek, the polish friend I've been traveling with for the last two weeks! Initially we had two more girls, but they somehow didn't make it to the meeting point in the morning.

I left most of my baggage in the flat of my new hosts, Gemma and Nuria from Spain! Also I went to a outdoor store called Decathlon, and got myself a good camping mat that now is part of my baggage. I think I am going back there and get myself a one or two-person tent. They're very inexpensive, weight only two kilos and very handy sometimes :)

So well after we met in the metro, we took a bus to a small town outside of Beijing called Huairou. Getting outside the bus we got spammed by local taxi drivers offering us rides to the wall. We picked one and started to bargain the price.. Ending up with a deal for 100 CNY (12 euros) for one direction for a one hour taxi ride, we started our tour!

The driver didn't speak a single word English and seemed a little bit confused... Glad I had Vickies phone number who helped us out with the translation :) Also Chris had written down a few phrases like "Pick us up tomorrow", "Come back here in 24 hours" and stuff like that. Anyway, it worked out after all!

So we made our way up to the wall. I am guessing it were about 100-200 meters altitude we had to conquer. You know, it always looks more then it is, and even showing you pictures of the scenary will not really give you the right impression :) You have to come yourself! It took me a while - to be honest - untill I went to bed untill I realized what exactly I was doing :) Camping on the great wall. How crazy is that? How did I end up doing that? :D

We climbed for about three hours untill we arrived where we wanted to sleep. For once, because the wall is so steep, and also for the fact that it's not a rebuild part of the wall. A wild part if you want to call it like that. A lot of climbing was included, which is not always easy when you carry a 15 kilo heavy backpack. Arriving at the top, we started to unpack and prepare for the Sunset.
We split up to find some wood and make a fire inside one of the towers. I bought "Korean Sausages" and a bottle of Vodka which we all couldn't wait for to eat and drink :) To be honest, I really do appreciate German meat and sausage, there is nothing like it.

Enjoy the pictures!

I got a little sick over the last few days, my task today is to get some medicine and get better. We're going to Wuhan tonight. First class ticket, 11 hours - express train. That's the only thing we could get out of beijing during the national holidays.

Also, I am probably going to buy a tent. I want to camp more, be more flexible. I realized that Visiting Japan, against all my wishes is too expensive. I mean, I could risk it, but most likely it will drain me a lot of money. I could go to Taiwan or the Phillipines for a lot less money. And then go to China again because I have a Double entry Visa. I have to figure those things out!

You see, I am trying to stay flexible, not stick myself to a plan that cannot work out in the end. Everything changes.

Yours Luke
Entry by Mateusz from Poland
On 08.10.2011 at 08:38
gdzie si? zgubi?e? lukas? :D
pozdrawiam, zwadzo? na Skype jak b?dziesz
Reply by Luke
On 08.10.2011 at 14:59
I am in Wuhan right now! More later tonight! Polskie litery tutaj nie dzialaja!
Entry by Imke from Germany
On 07.10.2011 at 22:14
Wow! Iguess, I should give my geography-colleages the link to your website - it's so interesting to read and look your great and funny pictures!
And finally I#m sure I did a good job as your mother: tooth-brushing even on the top of the world - only the third of a vodka-bottle .... ;-D

We love you, Mama & Co
Entry by Klaus&Susanne from Dortmund, Germany
On 05.10.2011 at 15:28
Hi Luke!
You really make funny things! This Great Wall must go beyond any understanding. But good to see that you take care of your teeth in any situations ... ;) want to keep away from chinese dentists?
Wish you further good journey and good health!

P.S.: We now have an iPad standing on the kitchen table, so every morning we look for news ... but dont feel under pressure ... ;)))
Entry by Liza from Russia
On 03.10.2011 at 14:11
First thing i want to say is "WOW"))Great landscape, i thing i got a traveling goal now)you look like a real traveler on the photos, and i like your scarf))you were climbing such a steep mountain and, oh my god, you were carrying so heavy backpack)
take care!)
Entry by Patryk from Poland
On 03.10.2011 at 13:59
Luke !!
nawet nie wiesz jak CI zazdroszcze !!
Mam nadzieje, ?e za 2 -3 lata powtorzysz tripa do azji i zabiore sie z Toba.
Camping na Wielkim Chinskim Murze - genialne !!
gratuluje odwagi - malo kto by sie zdecydowal na taka podroz samemu.
do uslyszenia.
aha jeszcze jedno more pics please ! :)
Entry by TATA from PL
On 03.10.2011 at 12:44
Excellent idea! Such idea comes only spontan! Greatfull! Bravo! :-)
Entry by Vicky from China
On 03.10.2011 at 11:43
After reading it again, I wanna add some more points =D

1. Harbin is famous for beed and saussage, hehe Let us have a competition;)

2. Yyou already started to pose now, nice shot.

3. The photo with Chris in it looks quite steady and it is even hard to imagine it cuz I have only been to the Trousim part Badaling=) It amazes me too much.

4. Tomek looks very cool in this photo, with ihs sunglasses on, looks like a spy or sth,lol. He is one of your models now =P

5. omg, you carried 15 kilos? lol, you dont need to go to the gym for the next floowing 15 days =P

Nice one and

glücklich ;)
Entry by Vicky from China
On 03.10.2011 at 10:51
Glad to read your this post about Great Wall camping. I can feel it is amazing from the photos and you guys look indeed great and energetic in them =D

I feel pitiful that I missed this camping event,seeing the sunrise together, chill out the whole night, got to know some new ppl, btw, Chris looks great and i am totally sure sending him a msg was the most correct thing we did.

Btw, I think the illness you got is because you wear too little in this chilly weather in Beijing? It is autumn time, dress warm and stay away from sick=]

yo, man, you are on the wall, top of the wall and top of the world =D

Cheers and