Biking the Great Wall - 141 kilometers Zhengye -- Mon, Aug 1, 2005 Today we dropped into the desert -- finally out of the mountains (although they will surround us for another 500km) and passed through the Great Wall. Isn't that cool -- we got to bike along the Great Wall for about 10km.
Now this isn't the Great Wall you see in the pictures -- the Beijing variety. It's the western Great Wall -- the crumbling, earthen Great Wall that keep out the hordes of "barbarians" for so many years. It is made of mud, stone and wood -- is probably 20ft tall with towers every 500m and has many broken spots where the wall has worn away.
At the point where the road passes through the wall there is a little tourist site at which I was kindly greated by two locals and absolutely no vendors trying to hawk me "my piece of memorablia" from the wall. They walked me personally through the tourist site -- turning on the lights as I walked from room to room. I am not sure if this place was really open (Fang Wen Guang and Wen Ray didn't get to go in), but they seemed pleased to have me there. I got to see some old scroll paintings, an explaination of how the wall was built (in Chinese though) and the highlight, a mummified body (don't ask me why it was their though).
My opinion -- the Great Wall in Beijing is nice, but nothing beats biking along it in Gansu ;)