Day 3: Gubekiou Gateway
It didn’t seem quite so hot this morning when we woke up and it was quite overcast which gave us hope that there might be the promised bit of drizzle. Sadly this was not to be but we were told that it was slightly cooler today at 31 degrees!!
Breakfast was a pretty impressive array of food, not quite what you would really expect for breakfast but it was a traditional Chinese style we were told. As it was going to be another scorcher I decided to play safe as I really didn’t want an upset tummie to cope with as well as the pain in my knees and feet and of course the major over heating!! So rice it was with a fried egg on the top which was actually runny. Sounds fairly vial but I knew that the packed lunch could be somewhat interesting and so I knew that I needed some slow releasing energy in me.
We once more drove to where we were starting off which was only a short trip thankfully and we had some tai chi and stretching before we headed off to another day, of frankly – hell, where once more I would teach myself to push on regardless thinking of Pen and all she went through. Stace was really not doing too well this morning and really was suffering with her tummie and persistently sick, poor love. With the heat as well I am really not sure how she does it, it was touch and go for a moment as she really couldn’t face the idea of another day of it. I told her to do what she usually does, and what I hate her saying – suck it in!! After a few tears which I think just needed to come out as much as she hates it, she was back on track and slowly we carried on dripping in sweat which really was most unpleasant to do after such a short amount of time. It was a fairly intense start as we ascended a hill pretty quickly which, in the heat, was simply horrendous.
We started to get quite a way behind some of us as we were taking it slowly at our own pace as really nothing can prepare you for doing this amount of exercise in this really humid heat. Seriously it feels like we have not been training with Lynnsey since January looking at some of the others who had hardly broken a sweat – bastards!!! But I intend on completing it without any massive injuries and to have enjoyed/endured it as much as I possibly can rather than hate every step and wish I wasn’t there and taken on this mammoth task.
We were on an older section of the wall which had not really been restored and so was pretty dishevelled and meant you REALLY had to watch your footing as it was easier to fall arse over tit! There were few places to rest where there was some shade but not really enough for all of us as a group. Stace’s bag was looked at and parts taken out and passed to Michael and then Peter carried it for her for a while which seemed to help as she was really stuggling with her tummie, poor darling. I was REALLY worried as I didn’t think that she was taking on enough water as she was hardly drinking. Problem was that with every sip that she took it made her want to barf so a loose loose situation really! It began to get really irritating that with every time that we would meet up as a group the faster ones would then get up and leave with Michael leading them.
Seeing as Michael is also taking photos for us and namely the group shots and creating a photo cd of them all which saves time really rather than 17 versions of the same thing on everyones cameras, we soon realised that actually we are in none of the single shots etc as we were never anywhere near him – how to feeled loved and part of the group hey!!
Stace was feeling a wee bit better after we stopped for lunch and so she took her rucksack back. She had already offered to take mine as I was struggling quite a bit with my knees and feet, nutter – there is a reason why you are NOT carrying one at the moment, you loon!! It was so humid as I said but there was also a breeze on certain parts, namely ones that had no sides and a fairly massive drop either side which even made my tummie turn, not one for my darling Dad! I tried to get some photos without actually falling off showing just what the drop was like and how narrow the wall was in parts. I’d hate to be on there when there was a stronger wind. It was so refreshing though to feel the breeze on various parts that were more than sweating however!!
Once we started to our way down from the wall we were walking through farm land and it really was quite steep, thankfully I had Peter to help me for some of the bigger steps as those were the ones that were excruciatingly painful on the balls of my feet and brought on the sensation of walking on drawing pins. Of course I was in the back of the group and part way down we caught up with Elaine who, I have to say, has been ruddy amazing in all that she has achieved. Scary to think that 10 years ago she was paralysed from the waist down. She had been on her own walking down quite a bit of it and the front few noticed that she was no longer with them and so the boys sweetly went back to help her, you could then hear a voice saying ‘Elaine? Why is it all about Elaine? What about me?’ That got all our heckles up I tell you. Elaine, thankfully, didn’t let it phase her as she has had to deal with so much in her life she can let things like that blow over. If only I could (were it me being talked about like that) I don’t see why she should have to tho. Whose ever voice it was, sadly/thankfully, we were not sure. But I can tell you now if I had recognised it I swear down, I would have given them an earful as I like to look after my friends, not make them feel like shit.
Once we had totally come down off the mountain we were then on to a concrete road which my knees and feet seemed to loathe and the pain was really searing up my legs becoming almost unbearable. It just seemed to go on and on every corner that we thought looked like the last led to another corner. I had slowed up considerably and was more than tempted just to sit down and wait for someone to come and get me as I really felt like I could go no further. Peter and Sasha had gone ahead which rattled Stace more than it did me and by this stage I was using both poles as a support and concentrating more on moving my legs which felt seperated to the rest of my body by this stage. We did finally make it back to the bus which was a very welcomed sight and a quick 20 min bus journey to the evenings accommodation.
Our accommodation this evening was the one that we had previously been told was ‘challenging’ and so I had prepared myself for the worst possible scenario already teary from the pain and emotino of completing the day. Yes the room was damp and yes, it smelt of pee. Yes the beds were as hard as nails again and we couldn’t get the lights to work and finally yes the light switch was hanging out of the wall and right under the shower as well as a lot of electricity cables. But other than that it was ok?!!!
It started spitting a little as we walked down to the restaurant for supper which was fairly bland again it has to be said, mainly because I couldn’t eat the majority of it because of the peppers which was really beginning to get mighty annoying I have to say. After supper we sat on the veranda (of sorts!) for a beer or two and I sneakily managed to get most people to sign Abi and Marks anniversary card for tomorrow. The rain by this time was totally chucking it down, didn’t bode very well for the morning really. Not sure which I prefer walking in – the boiling heat or pissing rain?! Guess I’d find out the following day!! We got our bed bug sheets out and slept in our fleece liners as the bedding still felt pretty damp to the touch. So it was nice to have found some use for them!!
27 towers passed through
Highest point 570metres high
15km trekked within 7hrs