A rare thing: Liz and I left the girls at home with Ayi and went off for a hike along the Great Wall. It was an organized trip with a company called Beijing Hikers who were set up 10 years ago by a Brit and a Chinese, and it took us and some others to a fairly wild stretch of the Wall north of Mutianyu. Fine autumnal day with the trees turning to yellow, gold and red. Stiff climb up through woods and then on to the ridge where we followed broken sections from turret to turret. The view was fabulous - a bit like Mordor if it wasn't such a nice day. In parts it was quite dangerous with nasty drops either side so you had to watch your step. Great to get out into some clean air, escape the crowds and get some exercise.
The last hour or two saw us join the renovated Mutianyu section and the tourists. Also, walking down the steps was killing my knees so we took the toboggan down which was fun. Lovely to see the girls when we got back and took them out for dinner as a treat.