First day of walking and I am faced with a vertiginous climb. Wow! Have I done my training for this – sure!!!! I wore in my trekking boots by putting them on while I typed some emails at home the night before I left Melbourne, and I did a few climbs 2 weeks ago in Los Angeles – yup...I’m nervous!
This is the mountainous part of the Great Wall, where it sits between the Black Mountains and the Qilian snow capped mountains. It is a few kilometers up to the highest Northern viewing point then a 9km descent to the Jiayuguan Pass and Fortress. As you can see we are amazed to be here and stop to capture it on loads of "happy snaps" – or breathing stops! The air is very thin and the altitude is making my heart best like a caged Tyrannosaurus.
AJ and I are comparing our "weigh ins" for the day – everyone is expecting to lose weight on this trip, but as a late comer to the event, I’m told that none of the others have so far; even with the long days of climbing, and unusual meals that are sometimes not at all appetizing. Adam has brought me up to speed with his story of being the Real Aussie GAY Cowboy, and I tell him, it doesn’t get any gayer than taking a stroll with Olivia and me singing Xanadu!
Walking through the fortress we stop for some arrow shooting – I split when I saw Johanna Griggs giving Kieren Perkins advice, as she was laughing out the side of her mouth, as I was standing right behind them. I am amazed at the amount of time Olivia manages to spend with all of sponsored walkers – she absolutely loves to see we are all okay and loves to catch up on giggles and heart felt moments. She is always there with the biggest hug.
As we are in the desert, any form of vanity has gone out the window – dust masks are needed for long treks across the desert plains – on returning to the hotel, I can report that we are covered in it, and I confess to finding dust in every orifice – and that is not a nice feeling! The water that we shower in has a brown colour, and so getting clean is done as quickly as possible.
Tip of the day: do not drink any tap water. It is wise to make sure none gets swallowed in the shower too!
Weigh in: 47.2 kilos
Pedometer says we have done 16.05 kms today!!!!! Having dodged Donkey, Lamb and something that looked like Chicken-ish, at our Mongolian Feast last night – I take my vegetarian taste buds to the buffet in the hotel and knock back some red wines with the gang.
My feet are now in my Ugg boots and I’m feeling fine! Dim Sum and hugs from Disco Dannii in China x
Dannii's Photo Album from the Herald Sun!