Day 2 Happy me Bday!
4:30am. We're all awake and we all agree - It's a Great Wall Day!
Even with the help of our host, Sharle, it would be a puzzle of a day, for we've decided to make our own way to the Wall.
I am thankful to say, the day went very smoothly.
We walked to the bus station. Found some yummy street food for breakfast ($8 for the lot of us!) and packed some Onigiris (10 good size costing $8) for lunch later. After some direction seeking, we found our bus. Turned down our first scam (with the lady in front of us approving of our decision and saying it was a fake!) and befriended a group of travelling ladies on a tour group to the hot spring close to where we were to stop. Sharle, had arranged for us to meet with a local friend, Mr. Tzang from Mutianyu (the stretch of the Great Wall where we were visiting). Mr. Tzang is a bus driver, his father is a shuttle bus driver at the Great Wall and his brother works at the ticket booth! This made things easier for us. He was able to get us closer to The Wall without taking two other bus rides, which saved us a few more yuan (and time/hassle) due to his connections. He would like us to tell our friends of his service. So, if you're heading to the GW of China, we'll pass on his info to you! The most expensive part of the trip was the cable car up and toboggan down for ~ 20CAD/person. It was worth it!
We thoroughly enjoyed our time here. Blue skies, sunshine, autumn breeze and barely a crowd. Seeing a more cosmopolitan mix of people and hearing different languages all around.