Last Saturday we decided to go on an easy hike to a part of the Great Wall. The plan was to hike for about an hour and a half, have lunch at an ancient watch tower, and return to the car.
Instead, we ended up climbing all of Yunmeng Shan, Beijing's second largest mountain.
It turns out that there must be two places with similar names. There is a Yunmengshan National Forest Park (also known by its catchy title, 云蒙山国家森林公园 or Cloud Covered Mountain Park), and--supposedly--there is a Yunmengshan Great Wall Ruins Park.
For those of you looking for the Great Wall Ruins Park, I cannot help you. I don't know where this park is, or where the ruins are hidden. It's just that my hiking book says it must be somewhere up north from us.
What we did find, online and for real, was the beautiful Yunmengshan park. It is a gorgious place and there were actually a couple more small trails than just the one to the top. But we couldn't resist, so along with many others, we made our way all the way up Yunmengshan's 1,400 meter (4,600 feet) high peak.
(An earlier blog post, Saturday Temple Hike, also describes the problem of hiking in China. You never know where the trail is, if there even is a trail, if it's open today, or possibly already developed into a shopping mall. For other Beijingers interested in this hike, I'll add: Take the JingCheng expressway North towards Huairou, exit 15. Follow Rt 111 North in the direction of the town of Liulimiao. You might also set your GPS to Latitude 40.566667 or 40° 34' 00" N, Longitude 116.7 or 116° 42' 00" E).
It's good to have a sign to tell you where to go...
We're definitely not the only ones making it up the mountain. Lots of people were scattered across the viewing platform to recover from the hike and eat some lunch or snacks.
The path was easy to follow. Never too scary. This time I did not fear for the boys' lives (as I do on so many other hikes).
Little store with snacks and drinks. We were soooo happy to buy a cold ice tea and a "Kekou Kele" (Coca Cola)!
In het Nederlands: Afgelopen zaterdag hebben we een super wandeling gemaakt. Wel lang en wel veel klimmen, maar het uitzicht was de moeite waard. Als nou alleen nog maar die spierpijn eens ophoudt...