Day 14 - Thr 12 May 05, Beijing, China
Up early for breakfast and our driver (Mr John) for the day arrived at 7:45! It took us three hours to drive to the Great Wall at Simatai. Mr John was expert at picking his way across Beijing traffic, and avoiding other maniacs (like himself) coming the other way. When we arrived at Simatai we paid 30Y to get in, and a further 50Y for a return cable car trip that gets you half way up the hill.
We skipped the final 'railway' and decided to walk up - phew it was hard work! As we got higher we encountered a group of Hawkers. Three peeled off the main crowd and started to walk up with us. I stopped and said "no" to everything they tried to sell. After 10 minutes of my "no" mantra they gave up. The people that followed us were not so lucky.
At the top of the Wall, my headache hit top gear, so I just lay down while Guy and David climbed higher. A Canadian lady was coming past, and I asked her if she had any headache pills - bless her she did! After that I recovered enough to start walking along the wall.
The wall is amazing, There is so much of a drop on either side. Eventually walked down to where the other path (back to the Hawkers) emerged, but decided to push on and found some great bits of the Wall, and eventually another path back down to the cat park, hence not needing the cable car return ticket (oh well).
Mr John then took us to his fav restaurant were we had a meal for three for 48 Yuan, and then drove us back into Beijing. If anything the standard of driving had dropped during the day, and we had many near misses on the return trip. The horn is used to signal that you are about to perform some radical move.
Back to the hotel, and had a great meal (Duck!) - Tomorrow is the Forbidden City.