NADO is thrilled to advise that the Great Wall of China CHALLENGE has raised just under $30,000 – this is an amazing effort by everyone.
A huge big thank you to Anna and Bernadette Curryer, Jacki Long and Mitchell Drew-Rugg, Brooke Wilkie, Tara Kelton, Tammi Volpatti and Matt Dickey, as well as Learne and Anthony Brischetto for their amazing fundraising efforts.
Unfortunately not everyone was able to attend the actual trip, but we appreciate everyone’s efforts.
Raising funds while having an adventure of a lifetime!
With both excitement and a little trepidation, myself, Anna, Jacki and Mitch, together with Bonnie representing Nordoff-Robins Music Therapy, set off from Sydney airport on Thursday 12 May to spend 10 days in China.
On arrival in Beijing and after a false start trying to exit the airport the wrong way (my fault), we found our guide. Although tired from the overnight flight, we happily explored Beijing, walking through Tiananmen Square and climbing a hill for wonderful 360 degree views of the city, dressing up in traditional clothes and learning Tai Chi along the way.
The following day we braved a sea of umbrellas to step back in time and explore the Forbidden City, home to the Emperors of China’s past, visit markets and see a highly entertaining Kung-Fu show.
After such a gentle introduction we were soon hit with the reality of the “challenge” we had taken on—we started our 5 day trek along the Great Wall! We walked through a variety of settings, nearly all either up or down—isn’t anywhere flat in China?
Some sections were restored and had a lot of tourist, but most of the time we were in quite isolated areas where the wall had been basically untouched for centuries, crumbling and quite dangerous. The steepness of the slopes and the length of the wall, which seemed to go on forever, emphasized the amazing construction achievement of so long ago. The views were amazing and the isolated areas really gave us a sense of how small we are in this large, wonderful world.
After 5 days it was with mixed emotions that we finished, exhilaration that we had made it, relief that we had no more stairs to climb, but also sadness that such an amazing experience was over and we would be leaving “the wall”.
We had one more full day touring Beijing, seeing the pandas, taking a rickshaw tour of the old part of city, shopping and eating scrumptious Peking Duck! Then, before we knew it, we were back at the airport on our way home again.
What an adventure we have all had. Now safely home, the difficulties faced during the journey fade, and what is left is a warm feeling for China – a country whose rich history is fascinating, country side beautiful and people warm and friendly. Hopefully you will all get to travel there one day – there is so much to see and do.
We were so lucky to have had this wonderful experience and be able to raise funds for NADO as the same time.
I like everything about China—the food, tours, shopping… but didn’t really like so many stairs!
I’m glad I gave it a go.
What an adventure of a life time that was warmly shared with my son Mitchell, Anna and Bernadette Curryer as well as Bonnie who represented Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy.
At the beginning and definitely as the Challenge grew closer, there was the uncertainly, hesitations and a lot of “what ifs” – no toilets on the wall, the endless stairs to climb, no drinking tap water, different foods that we were not accustomed too, the different language and culture, to name a few, but it’s amazing what you can do when you put your heart and soul into every step.
The adulation when we finished trekking The Great Wall of China was overwhelming and just when we felt we could do it all again, sadness crept in for an instant, but quickly surpassed by the all-important souvenir shopping which entailed “bartering”.
Day 1 of our Trekking journey began from Taipingzhai Gate Huangyaguan, this section of the wall was very up and down, with slippery steps in parts, stairs, stairs and just when we thought we were finished more stairs 1,200 to be exact 62 flights of stairs in total.
Day 2 temp 29, we woke with the Great Wall towering above us, trekking through the bush was even hotter, 15 km today we climbed Gu Bei Kou which was 20,000 steps and 165 flights of stairs, we started our journey at 10am and finished at 5pm today, this was a very long and tiring day.
Day 3 of our journey saw us trek 10 km from Jin Shang Ling to the western section of the Great Wall at Simatai 960 meters above sea level with spectacular views of villages and rice fields below.
Day 4 of our trekking journey from Jian Kou to Mu Tian we trekked through the bush to 1,000 meters above sea level, 15,300 steps, walked 8klm, 102 flights of stairs, Oh my it was so worth it- what a sight it was, the views were breathtaking.
Day 5 the shortest of all our days trekking, we trekked Huang Hua Cheng section 7,100 steps, 2.2 klm, 58 flights of stairs, started 250 meters above sea level finished about 500 meters above sea level.
The memories we took away with us is priceless and has left that aching desire to venture further.
I am so thankful that NADO gave us the opportunity to join this amazing expedition and fundraiser.
I had an amazing and an unforgettable experience, trekking the Great Wall of China was mind blowing. There was plenty to see and do and of course eat.
I would like to say a big thank you to NADO for giving me this opportunity to not only fundraise for such a great cause, but to have had an opportunity to take part in such an amazing adventure of a life time.