Great Wall at Simatai 2

More scenes as we passed through the hills…

I was struck by the bleakness of it all. It was cold, the living was basic, and the land borderline arable. Then I realized that such is the life of peasants in northern China.


These two photos show how careful the Chinese have to be to use every square foot of arable land.


Remember those several little towns I said we got lost is? Here is one of them. We had just been happily cruising down this street in the opposite direction when we wound up at a dead end in somebody's back yard. We retreated, asked directions, and found that we had just missed the turn. Only a local knows how to navigate through some of those towns! This was a typical scene on the fringes of the town.

Then we started to learn that the big climb was ahead of us. It began to dawn on me as we kept climbing and the snow kept getting thicker. It was reinforced as the hills kept getting steeper and the roads started looking like switchbacks. But it was beautiful, even if not what we had anticipated back in Beijing, which now seems long ago and far away.

Here is the summit of our climb. If you don't see any indication of the Great Wall, you are right!

The road at the summit was narrower, snowier, and icier than before. But it never got dangerous, and we were relieved. The driver probably was, too!

Here is our little car at the summit. Jinghua is smiling because we are starting to go DOWN! Not too many Beijing taxis at this place.

Ahead to Great Wall 3
Back to Great Wall 1

Back to Beijing March 2003