Challenging myself to climb the Great Wall of China

Why is it so difficult to climb the Great Wall?  What happens if I can’t make it?

It’s not that easy getting to the Great Wall of China – or at least where we were trying to reach it from. Remembering  photos of Canadian Rick Hansen in his wheel chair rolling along the Great Wall I never gave it any thought prior to my visit to China. I sort of recall my son telling me to do some hiking and get into shape before I left Canada. Yeah, yeah no problem.  I did a lot of walking – no problem, I’m in shape.

climbing up to the Great Wall

Or so I thought until I was standing at the bottom of a dirt trail that led straight up a hill and after taking about 20 steps I asked my son “What happens if I can’t climb…?

“You don’t have any choice – our van just left and will be waiting at the other end,” I was told quite bluntly. That wasn’t nice – I should have been stricter when he was a child.  He did offer to carry my daypack as I huffed and puffed myself up the hill – my head starting to get foggy.  I was having some serious doubts.

“No wonder you’re tired, there’s make-up in your bag.”  He was trying to be funny and finding my lipstick and a brush in my pack seemed to amuse him. I couldn’t speak since I was still gasping for air and trying to keep up with the group.  Being last was okay since no one could see how poorly I was doing. It’s surprising what you can do though if you have to and since there are photos to prove I made it, I can proudly say I did it.

No rest for the wicked

Reaching the Great Wall was an achievement but unfortunately for me that was only the beginning.  At one point I looked over at a fellow traveler who I had spoken with in the van coming up.  We had shared our love of coffee with each other and she would understand what I said to her. “If I don’t make it, send my ashes home in a coffee can.”  She promised to follow my last wishes.

Resting on the Great Wall


Since I have lived to talk about my adventure to the Great Wall of China I have to tell you it was a highlight of all my travels for a variety of reasons.  One, most especially, I got to travel again with my son Michael, something I cherish.  Also, I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone and am quite proud of what I accomplished.  You will have to check back to learn more about this fabulous adventure to China and the Great Wall.

“I deserved a rest after climbing this.”

Happy travels,

Carol Ann Q


The Great Wall

Did you like this? Share it:
About Carol Ann 113 Articles
Writer, traveler, RVer sharing her travel logs and information.