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Great Wall of China Trek: 'At one point I froze due to the narrowness of the ledge...'

Angela has raised £1,900 by trekking 80km across the Great Wall of China, which is over 21,000km in length and more than 2,300 years old - and she kept a diary along the way.
Angela at the Great Wall holding a SFH t-shirt
The civil servant signed up to the exciting hike as part of a weight loss challenge and chose to support the hospice because she know of the wonderful care and support it provides to people affected by life limiting illness. Here, she shares photos and extracts from her diary written during her incredible challenge...   

Saturday 12 September   
D day for the trip - after packing for the ninth time the lift arrived and now on way to the airport. No going back now! This is really happening, off to meet 80 other intrepid travellers, none of who I know! Last cup of coffee before heading to meet the others so quick photo opportunity.  Checked in and passed security, headed straight for the gate and met some others along the way. All feeling the same trepidation.  

Call to gate- here we go!  

Angela wearing SFH t-shirt on Great Wall

Sunday 13 September 
10 hours of flying and now arrived in Beijing. Met up with trekking leaders and now on coaches to the hotel! We are staying in a beautiful museum that was once a base for the Chinese Army during the construction and defence of the wall. Fascinating place feels like a film set and the wall wraps itself around the facilities.  

Monday 14 September   Angela wearing SFH t-shirt on Great Wall
First day of the trek - this has been billed as an easier walk compared to the rest of the week! Trekked along the road, through the village up to Taipinghai and back to the hotel. Locals laughed at us as if we were out of our minds (they took taxis to the top!). Make your own mind up!  At the top of the hill was the entrance to the wall. Oh my goodness this looks steep! Took us about three hours. The views were absolutely fascinating.  

Tuesday 15 September   
Trekking today from hotel towards Qianganjian Village. This was fascinating even though in one spot I froze due to narrowness of the ledge we had to walk. Once past that nothing was as bad. This was an interesting walk. Passed signs for car parking at the side of the cliff, speed limit signs of 5km maximum and this sign!  Also vending machines!  This night we stayed at a local farmhouse with traditional sleeping platforms. Four of us had to share a platform!

Angela wearing SFH t-shirt on Great Wall       

Wednesday 16 September   
Today we walked to Shiuiching and then took a coach to Jinshanling. This included a 9km road walk off the road through rural China. But first passed a point that marked three provinces'.  Our hotel room with own court yard.      

Angela wearing SFH t-shirt on Great Wall

Thursday 17 September   
This has been billed as our longest and hardest walk. I expected to walk 9 hours. First we had to take an hour coach ride to the start of walk back to the hotel in Jinshanling. What a day. Really amazing views and steep climbs. There were some hair raising bits where wall hugging was required.   
Angela wearing SFH t-shirt on Great Wall
Friday 18 September   
The last day trekking and we only walked for three hours as off to Beijing the afternoon.   However, have to walk through 20 Watch Towers including the (no offence meant by next statement) OMG section -i.e. very steep with sheer drops! This was tough going but so rewarding with its scenery. It had been raining and the morning was misty.

Then the finish line approached - it was all over and very emotional. To sum up the fear and pain I encountered was nothing to those that are affected by cancer. Some of those on the trek had battled cancer and survived, others had lost loved ones to cancer and their spirit, courage and determination was inspiration to us all.          

Angela wearing SFH t-shirt on Great Wall        

Inspired by Angela? Take on one of our events or get in touch if you have an idea of your own!