There was another early rise as breakfast was served at 730am. Much to my embarrassment I nearly missed out as I'd left my alarm in weekday mode.
After a swift breakfast we gathered outside the hotel to deposit our bags and complete a warm up for the day ahead much to the amusement of the local residents. Today we were to trek 10K in the morning on a circular route.
Our trek started from the door step of the hotel and we gradually climbed in to a very steep ascent up to the 'Three Counties Tablet' which marks the meeting of Heibei province, Tianjin City & Beijing. The reward for the climb was spectacular panoramic views.
Following a brief stop for photos we made our way along an unrestored part of the wall. Due to its deterioration we actually walked along side, rather than on the wall. We then decended back in to the valley and returned to our hotel for lunch.
Following lunch we had a 3K stroll down to the coach which would take us on a 2 hour journey through stunning mountainous roads to our next hotel in Watertown. This was to be a stark contrast to our previous two hotels and felt almost luxurious in contrast.
Watertown is a newly built replica of a southern Chinese water town using the model of Venice as it's influence. It is hugely popular with Chinese tourists who flock here in their thousands.
On our way to the complex our guide Ki pointed out 4 pillars near the entrance. I thought he'd described them as itching posts and humorously scratched my back against a post. The joke was on me though as it turned out they were hitching posts for horses.
To enter the complex a ticket must be purchased and another security protocol followed. Our passports were required and then a photograph taken of our eyes to enable us to be identified for entrance at anytime to the complex. Much to the amusement of the team, it took multiple attempts to get my photograph as I was too tall for the machine and ended up crouching down (kneeling may have been easier in the first instance).
We quickly returned to our hotel to freshen up before being taken to our latest restaurant for tea. After an excellent feed we returned to Watertown and explored. What a beautiful complex it was, with lots of traditional themed buildings and monuments. We watched a short traditional play in the theatre square before setting off in search of a bar for refreshments. Our search was in vein. We only found one that wanted to charge us 55 dollars for a small bottle of German beer and that wasn't happening. We trooped back to the hotel with our tails between our legs.
Upon arrival at the hotel we decided to see if it sold any beer. After 10 minutes of dialogue/translation several cans of beer appeared and cost a measly 10 yuan each (approx £1). With smiles on our faces we discussed the day ahead before retiring to our rooms.
We get a lie in tomorrow with breakfast served from 8am before we set out on our longest trek of the challenge, 17km from Guebikou to Jinshanling.