Saturday, April 25, 2015

Follow the Way of Mao!

Yesterday a friend and I "followed the way of Mao Zedong"** all the way up the Chinese Wall at Mutianyu. In a lapse of sanity, we decided it was a good idea to train for our half Great Wall Marathon (coming up in three weeks) by running (read: walking) all the way up the steps to the Wall, then on the Wall for another two kilometers or so, and back.
(And friends in Holland or America or anywhere else relatively flat, if you think: "That's easy, I can run five kilometers," I invite you to come to Beijing and run five kilometers on the Wall with me. The whole thing--maybe six or so kilometers; my phone said 8.01km but the GPS gets confused on the steps--ended up taking us 1 hour and 50 minutes (including some time spent negotiating with the guy who wanted to sell us his 3 Yuan bottle of water for five times that price).
Here is a stellar picture of me, at the ticket window. It's hard to see, but the text above the window says "Slide the ticket," meaning you could perhaps "Slide your ticket" or buy "Tickets for the slide" that brings you back down from the Wall. I am not sure.
About an hour after ticket purchase we reach our end point. The Wall turns into a big bush... no more running. (Phew!) (OK, there was no time to take pictures on the way up!)
Celebrating the good work! - You might notice that summer has arrived in the Jing!
If we had brought a red ribbon, we could have tied it to this tree to show success. The kids are all school children, identified by their blue and white uniforms. (They actually looked remarkably fresh considering they just made the same climb we did.)
Great view over the Mutianyu valley. Beijing is somewhere far in the distance.
What goes up ...
... must come down.
Coming down to a watch tower. Better not to be afraid of heights, stairs, or people.
**Why "the way of Mao Zedong" you wonder? Well...all the way running up, that was our goal: four gigantic Chinese characters painted on the side of a rock saying "follow the way of Mao"! So we did...except, when we got there, in our euphoric state, we forgot to take a picture! I'll leave that for next time...when you, my precious reader, are coming to Beijing to run this track with me!
In het Nederlands: Gegroet familie! Het was natuurlijk een lange radio (Internet) stilte, maar dan hier toch maar een keer weer een nieuw bericht. Gisteren heb ik met een vriendin een flink stuk gelopen- geklommen-gerend om onze arme benen voor te bereiden op de halve marathon over de Chinese muur die we over drie weken gaan rennen. Het is prachtig weer hier opeens. Je kan op de foto's zien dat de zomer is losgebarsten.

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