7:00am. I was the first one up on Sunday morning, but i had to visit our guard tower to realize it. The rest of my cohorts were all passed out still, the wine had done it's job. I took the opportunity to brew up the first batch of coffee in my french press and enjoy the early morning sunlight. As you can see from Tao's fantastic picture below, the tower has two levels. There are no stairs available, but with a little effort, you can easily hoist yourself up the broken wall. I spent most of the hour by myself, quiet, drinking coffee, soaking up the beauty. Ace was next to arise and we enjoyed peaceful time together. Truly a splendid morning.
After packing up camp, we started to hike back out but had an hour before we needed to make the descent. We dumped our packs at a fork in the trail and headed off to explore another part of the wall. We ended up at one of the highest points in the area. This was a scree climb with drastic drops on two sides, loose ground, unstable rocks... and a panoramic view. I'm glad i climbed it once, but i do not need to do it again.
We ended with another meal at the small restaurant. This time, they slaughtered a chicken for us and served it in a bowl, every part still available, head and claws propped on the top. I'll spare you the pictures.
The ride home was nice too and in general, i love car rides with friends. This comes from fond memories of long road trips with the family. The seven us piled into our brown Ford van and trekked from Chicago to California many times. My dad build a bed/loft in the far back. It was a perfect place to sleep or play cards, and underneath was great for hiding and ploting assaults on the rest of the passengers.
Anyway... it was a pretty comfortable ride both ways to/from Beijing. We enjoyed the scenery and made fun of tao. Here are some of the friendly faces i shared the ride with.
Tao and Alicia are so damn cute, they get two pictures.
And my favorite picture from the wall also happens to be my last. This was my one last look before i go shot.
Ace and i are already confirmed for our next trip up there, 4th of July weekend. Frisbee may have to take a back seat for once.