|Subject: More Travel remembrances|
My contribution to Asian remembrances concerns a visit with Ziner Barbara
Burgess to the farmhouse of William and Qi Lindesay at the foot of a
particularly beautiful section of 'Wild Wall' a 90 minute drive from
Beijing. Will is the Brit who for reasons best known to himself became the
first person to walk the Wall from end to end.
It's a cold May morning, Barbara and I are tucked up in our warm cozy beds in a tiny farmhouse nestled into the mountains north of Beijing. Will has just 'knocked us up' the time is 3.30 am and it really is true that the coldest hour is just before dawn. We pull our clothes into bed with us and struggle into as many layers as we can. It's still dark and we take it in turns to go over to the washroom. Coming back I realize it isn't all that cold now I am up and about, so I remove two of the extra layers, my pyjama bottoms and a pair of Barbara's tights which I had added for good measure.
The sun is scheduled to rise at 5.20, we leave the farmhouse at 4.00am. Eight of us set off. Barbara and I can't help noticing that the other six all look hideously fit and years younger than us. The watchtower we're making for is just visible in the moonlight, it looks a very long way up. The path is good, our eyes soon adjust to the light. Before long more layers of clothing are being peeled off. Will offers to carry my camera bag but I figure if I bring it I should carry it, (the feminist movement has a lot to answer for.)
Up and up we go, it's very hard. Harder than we ever imagined but we are determined to be up there as dawn breaks and time is running out. All I can think is, if I don't make it this morning I will have to try again tomorrow! Perish the thought. Reaching the very last very steep section before the top, I throw my principles to the wind and let Will shoulder my pack.
We make it just as the sun begins to rise, we are on a most spectacular wild section of the Great Wall of China and it's pure magic.
Sue Wright Toronto, Canada