When we walk on the section of Great Wall by Longquanyu, we normally climb out of a different valley that involves quite a bit of scrambling and a good possibility of getting our feet wet. For this hike, we turned up a different valley and followed a trail along shallow stream that was beginning to thaw out.
Despite a grey sky, we still managed to enjoy the view from the Great Wall as well as the invigorating climb out of the valley. Most of the Great Wall that we walked on has not been restored, although the final section was recently renovated, which made our descent much less precarious than it might have been if there were crumbling bricks and loose soil. We still had to watch our footing after we left the Great Wall and started up the valley, as the semi-frozen stream still made our route a little slippery.
After reaching the head of the valley, we crossed farmers’ fields and orchards until we reached the village of Xiangtun, where we started the hike. After enjoying cookies and beer, we headed back for the city.