The ride to the wall took about 2 hours. We went to one of the less touristy areas. There was pretty much noone on the wall except our bus, and the mongolians who scowered the wall selling T-shirts and water. I had a Mongolian follw me for about an hour, until I finally bought a T-shirt for 1 dollar
. They basically stand in all the watchtowers looking for people low on water, and then theyll follow them until they pass out and have no other option but to by water...The trip consisted of a 6 mile hike on the wall, from one entry point to another. It was super steep, and most areas were in their original condition. Some sections were practically straight up, thus the not many tourists. It was a good hike, and the water sellers had a pretty good day I think. At the end there was a little zip-line wich you could ride down to the parking lot about 500 feet over a river, so I did that. There were tons of awesome views along the way, and many pictures were taken.
We got home around 8 and tried to get a train ticket for today to the town by the Terra COtta warriors but couldnt get it until the next day, so we have to stay in Beijing one more day...Darn. Today we had McDonalds for lunch (had to do it once) and we are going to the Lama temple this afternoon (one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist temples outside Tibet). Tonight were meeting up with the Danes for one last night.
In closing, Woody, its funny that you mention the Mao watch. We have been offered them no less than 50 times, and I am certain to be on the lookout.
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We were picked up at 730 at our Hotel by a litle van that was picked with other travelers. Hart and Nick had to ride shot gun, and the driver was very excited to practice his English with us. By the time the trip was over, we had taught him mant useful phrases, like "Hurry up", Good Afternoon", "Big bus", and my personal favorite "police, punch". A cop had driven by and he pointed at him so we said police, which he repeated 20 times. Then he punched Hart in the arm and asked what that was, and we said punch, which he loved practicing. We met a bigger bus at another spot, and parted ways with our driver with a cheerful "Police, punch".