It has always been a goal of mine to hike on the Great Wall of China. I expected to be impressed but, upon actually seeing it my mind boggled. It was truly humbling to see this icon of human ingenuity and ambition stretched out before me. The sections of this crazy ribbon of stone stretch over 5,500 miles from the Gobi Desert to the Yellow Sea, always seeking the high ground even in North Korea and Mongolia. Along the route I trekked, between Jinshanling and Simatai, there are a few welcoming level spots but the majority of the way felt like I was climbing ladders of stone, some as steep as sixty degrees.
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This section of wall was constructed during the Ming Dynasty beginning about 1570 CE. The area near Jinshanling has been recently restored and becomes more vintage approaching Simatai. Other parts of the wall were constructed beginning in 206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang but little of that wall remains. Although I covered only about 6 kilometers in the 3 ½ hours hiking on the Great Wall of China left me blistered toes, sore legs, and a great big smile because I am living my retirement as an adventure!