Date: Sunday, March 7.
Pick up: 8:30 at the Lido Hotel outside of Starbucks.
Come back: 17:00 pm
Where: Miyun County, northeast of Beijing.
Driving time from the Lido: 1 hour 45 minutes. Walking time: 3 to 4 hours.
The route: We start by walking up a lane to a small village nestled in the valley. Leaving the village, hikers walk up over the hills to Stonewall Village. The name came from the hill behind it. It has grey rocks on the bald hill. Looks a bit like Dartmoor.
From the open lane we follow a "secret way to get on a clear path in the pine woods. The ground is carpeted with thick pine needles.
Zigzagging in order to find trails the team will walk on through farmland. The only people you will see are one or two lonely shepherds wondering about. Some of our city folks may think it would be a fine idea to be a shepherd for a few days. If you want, you can arrange your own trip to put the theory to the test.
The hills are rolling rather that craggy and steep. Walking along the ridge, one can take in the country view that stretches for miles. It is a walk that can be done by all, with lots to see and no problems with slipping.
Date: Sunday, March 14.
Pick up: 8:30 am at the Lido Hotel outside of Starbucks.
Come back: 5 pm
Where: Huairou District, north of Beijing.
Driving time from the Lido: 1 hour 35 minutes.
Walking time: 4 hours 30 minutes.
The route: Not many people visit this part of the Great Wall, yet it is in very good condition.
After the first hike by BJhikers on the Great Wall in January 2002, many said it should be a difficulty level 10! Some expressed concerns of the safety of the fellow hikers. BJhikers decided to only walk on the nice part of the Great Wall this time.
This walk starts from a valley followed by an open trail going up to the Wall. When getting on the Wall you will follow a nice trail on it.
The high point would make a perfect spot for lunch. A panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and other stretches of the Great Wall is guaranteed. If you stick to the trail on the Wall you will be on it for days. So after about an hour you will get off it and take one of the trails down the mountain.
There is a little hotel at the bottom. This hotel looks very out of place in the valley because it is painted brilliant white. Remember the Great Wall has its purpose to be built on ridges, so it is not a flat walk.
Cost for each organized hike: 150 yuan (US$18) per adult, 100 yuan (US$12) per child under 12. This includes: round-trip transport, snacks and beverages, detailed map of the hike and professional guidance. Fees will be collected on the bus.
To join BJ Hikers and sign up, please mail to: email@example.com or Call Huijie at 139 100 25516. Reservation is essential.
(Beijing Weekend March 5, 2004)