After having cancelled the trip already in September, we were all eager to go to the great wall before the winter set in. After a lot of research on the web i decided that we will trek two sections of the great wall Gubeikou to JinShanLing on the first day, spend the night at the Jinshanling village and then do the JinShanLing to SiMaTai section on the second day. The Gubeikou to JinShanLing section was supposed to be unrestored, raw and wild with a army camp blocking its way in the middle of the section.
It usually happens with me.. especially with my car. When i drive it after someone else has driven it, i can always feel the difference. The engine would feel a bit weaker, a little strained and the accleration sluggish. The feeling usually wears off in a day or two and the car starts feeling normal again. I was never able to figure out if it is psychological (maybe i dont like loaning our my cars to others).. or if its really different. With the car, maybe the different driving styles of people (especially the ones who like to rev the engine a bit too much) may affect the feel of the car.. but with my cycle there was no such explanation.
Ever since i joined the "Travel China Beijing" group on facebook, i've always wanted to go on one of the 'wild' great wall treks organized by Davis. Usually the prospect of waking up early in the morning (6am!!) would put me off from joining the trip but this time during the 3-day dragon boat festival weekend (between 28'th to 30'th May) i decided to stop being lazy for a change and join the trip. As per Davis, this section of the wall was one of the best spots for photography. The following is in his own words.. "If you look carefully at the recent published Great Wall photo albums, you will quickly find that many of the pictures are taken at Jiankou Great Wall. Due to its unique style, steep mountains and beautiful scenery, Jiankou Great Wall has become a photographic hot
So, it was my last weekend in Beijing before my short trip to India. I was having drinks with a friend and i remarked to her about how i had always wanted to go see the flag hoisting ceremony at Tian'anmen square but never did. She hadn't see it herself but then she proceeded to tell me about all these people who make it their pilgrimage to come to the capital, witness the flag hoisting ceremony and then go pay respects to chairman Mao's memorial. Thousands, she told... thousands of them can be found waiting out the night, out on the streets around Tian'anmen square. I was amazed, not surprised, but just amazed and impressed with the nationalistic zeal the government here has imbibed into its people. Piety has been substituted by nationalism and i'am not sure if that is such a bad thing.