• Working Together To Make Everything Better
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Great Wall of China for British Heart Foundation

Great Wall of China for British Heart Foundation

At the end of October I completed a 7 day trek of the Great Wall of China with a wonderful group of people in aid of the British Heart Foundation.  It was a personal challenge for me, inspired by my Dad who had life-saving heart surgery last year.

I was humbled to hear the stories of my fellow trekkers and how many had overcome personal tragedy, but I was also proud and privileged to be part of such an inspirational group of people. 

 After an 11 hour flight we arrived in Beijing, a city the size of Belgium, with a population of 27 million.  The airport was so huge, we had to catch a train to collect our luggage!  Once outside the airport, I'd never seen traffic like it anywhere.  Thousands of cars, buses, taxis, mopeds, bikes and rickshaws all trying to get somewhere and no one moving anywhere! Horns tooting, people shouting, cars crashing. It was chaos!  Somehow we managed to make our way to our lodge for a night's sleep before the trek began the following day.

The days that followed involved an amazing, albeit challenging, trek up and down around 100,000 steps on one of the most remarkable landmarks of the world, where I witnessed some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. It was breath-taking. We covered different sections of the wall each day, but it always involved thousands of very steep steps!  Some bits were renovated and easier to walk on and other parts were in total disrepair and made walking very difficult.  Some sections were too dangerous to walk so we trekked through the forest until we found somewhere where we could climb back up. 

Walking wasn't the only challenge we faced!  Toilets!!  Or lack of them!  Finding a private spot along the wall is almost impossible, so inhibitions were out the window pretty quickly. But Al fresco was far preferable to the public facilities we found.  "Which way round do you face?" was my first question!  Thank goodness we had filled our rucksacks with toilet paper, wet wipes and antibacterial gel!  Many found the food another challenge.  Luckily I had declared myself a vegetarian so didn't have to sample the frog dumplings, rat kebabs or deep fried chicken feet!

I just couldn't get enough of the consistently magnificent 360 degree views and the Great Wall trailing for miles ahead into the distance.  Whether we had sunshine, rain or swirling mist, it was all so magical.  Despite aching muscles, sore knees and worn out feet, I just didn't want the experience to end. 

A big thank you to everyone for all your support. I have raised over £3000 for British Heart Foundation. 

If you would like to make a donation please see my justgiving page at:

www.justgiving.com/Heather-South1 or pass your donation into the school office.   Thank you 

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