Today we had an early start with bags on the bus by 7.30 am before breakfast. The sky was a beautiful blue with no smog or haze to hamper our views and photographic opportunities.
After another random breakfast we jumped on to the coach and set off on a very brief journey to the wall. This would be our final morning on the wall and we would cover the Mutianyu section. This section is very popular with tourists from both the West and the Far East. We arrived early to avoid the masses, but to reach the summit, we had to scale the 1000 steps. We had a brief stop at the half way point to remove layers before marching on to the summit in no time at all.
Here we were greeted by Ki and two bottles of champagne to celebrate our amazing achievements over the past few days!! Time for a group mug shot and toast before we were given time to explore further along the wall before our rendezvous at 12 noon. The sky was beautifully clear and helicopters darted about filming and taking photos of the wall for future marketing purposes due to the amazing clarity in the sky. The views were again spectacular and we all snapped away too.
Little groups each went in their own directions before deciding which option to decend to the bottom. There were cable cars, the famous toboggans or simply walking back down. The majority of the team went for the toboggans, speeding back down to the start.
We then got our first taste of western food for some time with a Subway lunch to keep us on until our celebration meal later in the day.
We met with our coach and started our journey towards Beijing, the capital of China. It is now officially the same size as Belgium with a population of over 21m people. We have literally travelled from one extreme to the other. Being out in the rural mountains to one of the busiest cities in the world.
As we arrived in Beijing, we paid a visit to a local Silk Factory and saw how silk duvets and other silk attire is made. After a visit to the factory shop, several items were purchased by various members of the team, including pillows, scarves and PJs.
We moved on to our final hotel, where we spend our last two nights. With a couple of hours to spare, some of us went for a wander and visited a local coffee shop. If you thought travelling through London was chaotic, try Beijing. Nobody seems to pay any attention to traffic lights, road signs or regulations, making any journey a treacherous one.
We arrived back at the hotel for a quick shower before setting off to one of our final gatherings, our celebration meal including the local delicacy of Peking Duck. We entered our private dining area and enjoyed an array of delights. Simon & Ki then did a short thank you to everyone involved in this amazing experience before Simon presented our team gift to Ki and our driver John. Then it was my turn to address the audience and thank them for their amazing support and fundraising for Rosemere. We think we've already raised in excess of £20,000 as a team, but still want to raise even more, so donate now if you haven't already done so!
What an unbelievable time we have all had together. We've literally walked over mountains for 7 days solid covering over 60K in the process. Before proceedings finished, the team had the pleasure of thanking Simon our guide and Isla our doctor for making this trip such an wonderful experience and presented them with gifts from the silk factory.
I can't believe we only have one day left on our journey...