On this hike we started off on the Gubeikou Great Wall, and finished up in a countryside settlement named Hemp Village.
The name Gubeikou means “Old North Entrance” and this part of the wall dates back to the Ming dynasty, which lasted from 1368-1644 AD. It has not seen much restoration work, and parts of the wall and its towers are starting to crumble.
We met our local guide at the "Twenty-Four Eyes" Tower, which used to have six big windows at each side. Half of the tower was blasted off during a battle between Chinese and Japanese soldiers in 1933, so "Twelve-Eyes" Tower may now be a more accurate name.
From the tower we headed down to Spider Valley and Hemp Village. Unfortunately (or not!) we didn’t see the legendary spiders in the valley. We did see goats and other animals in Hemp Village, and unfortunately (for the goats!) we also saw a little mutton on our table at lunchtime!