I'm in China!
I'm on a very slow wifi connection in the middle of nowhere (at the hostel we are staying in tonight) using my tablet so it will be a short post, will probably expand it when I get back (these are just notes to jog my memory really).
There are 19 of us on the trek, the majority of us are from the University of Kent and we all met up at Gatwick Airport about 5pm on Monday the 12th. We flew to Beijing with Emerites, via Dubai. The first leg of the journey was flawless, I was able to watch films, drink wine and had rather nice food... having not been on a long flight before, and haven't flew in the last 6 years, I was quite impressed with this! The flight was about 6 hours, with no delays. Dubai was a very nice airport, and the heat as we stepped off the plane was incredible... I would love to visit it properly one day!
Dubai to Beijing however was not very successful. To start with, it was delayed by over an hour. Then, once we were close to Beijing, there was an announcement to explain that due to severe tunderstorms in Beijing, we would have to fly to another airport. We waited on the same plane for about 2 hours before finally flying to Beijing. That short (100 miles thereabouts) was the worst flight I have ever been on. I've never said I'm afraid of flying... but falling 3 thousand feet out of the sky and then being told there is a technical problem was enough to make me absolutely petrified!
We did, eventually, make it to the airport safely. From there we went to a hotel in the 2nd ring road of the capital, called the Jade Hotel, it was quite nice (I will post photos s soon as I can!). After 3 hours sleep, we had to wake up for breakfast. The food there was very tasty, especially a rice dish and some mushrooms cooked in a way I've never had them.
My next post will be about the first day of trekking, I will write it after I have had some more sleep... 3 hours didn't really make up for the 30+ hours on the plane!