Careful Not To Fall
Well that was a long time without WiFi or battery!
On the first day, Wednesday, we were all very tired after only having three hours sleep but had a very interesting first trek nonetheless. It was a two hour drive from where we were staying, so managed to grab a little sleep in the bus. Once the bus stopped we went into a little village and had an enormous lunch that was delicious. Finally, we started walking up a rather steep path and after about 20 minutes we found the wall. This was a restored section of the wall (though we didn't realise the rest wouldn't be at the time!) and had an old Chinese man in a pointy hat selling his wares. Misha bought a fan for 20 Yuan... and the rest of us all regretted not buying one ourselves after the first day!
To our left was a very steep staircase with an arch at the top and to our right was a fairly uninteresting staircase, so - naturally - we went left. Almost instantly it became quite hard, most of the wall had fallen away so we were left with tiny ledges and rumble to climb over. Most of it was also overgrown with plants. At one point there was about 5 metres of wall to walk on that was only a foot or so wide, with a long drop on each side! I've never been particularly afraid of heights but I'm afraid of falling to my death, and after the plane incident and this it seems to be a fear I need to get rid of!
Throughout the wall are a number of watch towers, these are all fairly safe waypoints for resting. Most of my photos are from the watch towers since the old parts of the wall are so dangerous.
To get down from the wall, we took a mountain pass which was full of undergrowth and we are all fairly agreed that it can be called a jungle. In these kinds of areas (on the first day and the others) there are thousands of cricket-like creatures that can be heard from the wall. The creatures are about the size of two golf balls!
So overall, a very nice trek on the first day. Much of it was very dangerous but a very nice introduction to the wall and incredible views.