Big Camp Plate is the name of a tiny village in Hebei Province, and until recently it was really hard to get to. They still don’t have good phone service out there, and the villagers need to climb a big hill before they can get a signal on their mobile phones.
The village is surrounded by a loop of early Ming Dynasty Great Wall and it’s a great area for a bit of hiking, with superb views from high up in the mountains.
We arrived on the afternoon of the first day, and hiked up to the campsite, following the new concrete road to the village before getting up on to the Great Wall.
Our campsite was set up in a nice meadow right beside the Great Wall, beside tall cliffs. We did get a bit of rain on this trip, thanks to the good luck of one of our regular hikers!
The next day we woke up early, packed up the tents, and set off on a longer hike, following a rough line of Great Wall up to a peak. We finished the trip by hiking through the hills and then back down to the bus.
We hiked up a concrete road into the hills. For years, this was a narrow dirt track.
We had to hike carefully on this rough section of Great Wall.
The Great Wall here is built along a cliff, making it just a little more difficult for attackers to get over!
We continued hiking along the Great Wall, aiming for the high point in the distance.
The Great Wall here is built of stones and rocks, in the early Ming Dynasty style.
Setting up camp.
Tina woke up early to take photos of the sunrise.
The sun rose over the hills behind our campsite.
Perfect weather for the second day of the trip.
Ready for breakfast!
Our breakfast spread, delivered by our friendly local guide.
After breakfast we broke camp.
Hiking a steep stretch of Great Wall.
Taking a break after a long climb.
Made it to the top!
The foundation of the Great Wall here is strong, but the crenellations and towers haven’t lasted so well.
Snack break at the highest point, and then it's goodbye to the Great Wall for another weekend!