So if you are a tourist, you get to see the Wall like most, Starbucks at the entrance, thousands of people, the Wall reconstructed to look good. These are a few spots for the public and only make up a few miles.
The rest of the 2500 miles is called “Wild Wall”. From the Ming Dynasty, 500 years have worn it down, locals and armies have used the stones to build shelters, but it is still there, and you can walk the length if you please. We did a few.
Walking the Wild Wall, you feel you are on the top of China. We kept a strong look out for the Mongols coming down from the North. You actually wonder what the hell they were thinking. Those Crazy Emperors, building a wall.
The villages that follow the route have been there from the beginning. Most established to build it or maintain it, feed the armies that protected it. The village we based from was given the responsibility to watch over it 500 years ago and their descendents still do. I have been reading a book “God Is My Co-pilot” by Col. Robert L. Scott US Army, stationed as a fighter pilot in China during 1942. In 1980 at almost 70 years old he retuned and walked solo, 1900 miles of the Wall, starting about the same place I was. I’m sure not much has changed. In his book he mentions that locals would not accept payment for food he was given along the Wall. For the dinners cooked for us in the village, to my surprise, we were considered guest of China, no payment. This was a pre-walk for Joy & I. We plan to walk the 500 mile Camino de Santiago from France to Spain next year. Legs, shoes, clothing all checked out on this trip and we a looking forward to the day. China has been an amazing place for me the past 8 years. It will always be my 2ndhome. It’s Time to eat some more dumplings.