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Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

In Brief: Photos from a long hike through the hills to visit tiny Shuitou Village.

Our Shuitou Village loop hike is a long walk through the hills of Hebei’s Huailai County, just over the border from Beijing.

The hike crosses through farmland and rugged hilly terrain on the way to Shuitou, a tiny farming village at the end of a long valley.

To complete the loop, we made a long climb up a valley and past a short section of the Zhenbiancheng Great Wall, and then walked out down a long and wild valley.

We started off with a walk through old Zhenbiancheng town - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

We started off with a walk through old Zhenbiancheng town.

Zhenbiancheng used to be a barracks in the Ming Dynasty. This wall here was part of the fortifications - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

Zhenbiancheng used to be a barracks in the Ming Dynasty. This wall here was part of the fortifications.

Further on, we followed dirt trails through farmland - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

Further on, we followed dirt trails through farmland.

The trail took us by some pine trees - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

The trail took us by some pine trees.

We made a big hill climb, following a zig-zagging hill trail to cross over at a lower point - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

We made a big hill climb, following a zig-zagging hill trail to cross over at a lower point.

Almost at the top - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

Almost at the top.

A short stretch of ruined wall blocked this pass in the hills - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

A short stretch of ruined wall blocked this pass in the hills.

Looking back down the valley to where we started - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

Looking back down the valley to where we started.

The hike took us down into Potato Valley a fairly wild area that used to be farmed. There was quite a bit of snow left in shaded areas - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

The hike took us down into ‘Potato Valley’ a fairly wild area that used to be farmed. There was quite a bit of snow left in shaded areas.

Here’s a patch of mud where a wild boar had been rolling - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

Here’s a patch of mud where a wild boar had been rolling.

This road would take us down to Shuitou Village - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

This road would take us down to Shuitou Village.

We crossed this line of Great Wall on the way to the village. In the middle of the wall is a large arch which would have let a small stream pass through - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

We crossed this line of Great Wall on the way to the village. In the middle of the wall is a large arch which would have let a small stream pass through.

We had to get by these goats - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

We had to get by these goats.

Safely past - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

Safely past the goats.

A big donkey and its owner - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

A big donkey and its owner.

A black dog outside a ruined mud wattle house - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

A black dog outside a ruined mud wattle house.

We hiked into the main part of the village - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

We hiked into the main part of the village.

Local transportation - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

Local transportation.

A narrow lane in the village - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

A narrow lane in the village.

We stopped here for lunch - a sunny spot with a great view - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

We stopped here for lunch – a sunny spot with a great view.

On the ridge in the distance is the Zhenbiancheng Great Wall - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

On the ridge in the distance is the Zhenbiancheng Great Wall.

Getting close to the top - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

Getting close to the top.

Santiago and Yolanda on the wall - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

Santiago and Yolanda on the wall.

We hiked a little bit further along the wall - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

We hiked a little bit further along the wall.

Hikers on the Zhenbiancheng Great Wall - Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2016/03/26

Hikers on the Zhenbiancheng Great Wall.

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