I am in Jiayuguan (pronounced Jiaooguan and spoken very fast. Just one syllable) which is a not very nice place but does mark the extreme Western point of the Great Wall. I visited what is referred to as ‘ The Overlook’ today and I was the only person there. No guides, no market place, no cars in the huge parking lot. Maybe it has something to do with the National Holiday. Fireworks started going off very early and have continued throughout the day. Boom Bang Bang echoing off the high rise apartment blocks. I made an attempt at looking it up and all I can come up with is ‘Mooncake Day’. Sounds delightful doesn’t it.
The grumpy driver picked me up and we headed out of town past smoking chimneys, blast furnaces, mills and great big horrible cooling towers until we reached the country. We parked, outside the parking lot, and the driver indicated I should get out and walk….that way, pointing. OK, fine. Off I set, past a tranquil lake with a couple of fisherfolk until I reached the remains of a fort, with a ramp ascending. I ascended. And found myself on The Great Wall of China. That has to be life defining moment. I walked, up again, sigh. Ramps, stairs, nothing to clutch hold of for support, no rail. Here are some views: