Beijing hikers

10 Nov

While visiting Beijing with work over the past 5 years Robert found a hiking group.  Beijing hikers was founded in 2001, and they have continued to grow even from the experiences Robert has had during his hikes over five year until the two recent hikes our whole family has enjoyed. 

We hesitantly reserved five spots in our first hike with them called over rolling hills. It was about 12 kilometers and a level 3, which is moderate difficulty. I say hesitantly because of the length, the 22 pounds I’ll have strapped to me, longest hike for Wyatt and Seth, and the fact that it was a group hike. Wyatt and Seth like to take in their surroundings, and I love that about hiking with them. But it tends to lengthen our hiking time, and with a group that might be a bad thing. Oh well, we will see…because going with a group in a foreign countryside is how we are able to still enjoy one of our family’s favorite pasttimes.
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We left the house at 8am to walk to the pick up area, then boarded a bus to head two hours north of Beijing. This was the routine for both hikes, but the second one was a bit colder, so we took the tuk tuk to the bus meeting place. On the way, one bathroom stop is made, map in reviewed, a snack of banana and chocolate bar passed out, and bottles of water. We arrive at the starting point and everyone unloads, usually around 20 hikers. There are three guides, one leader, one middle, and one caboose. They mark the trail with red flags, which the last guide collects. Each hike we have has gorgeous blue skies, it’s wonderful to breathe the fresh air. With winter coming, no more hikes and more pollution, so this last one, even though a more difficult terrain, I relished breathing the autumn air.

On the first hike we passed through farms and villages, and saw an aquaduct. Robert made a comment when passing a local farmer, he probably wonders why the hell we are walking on these trails for fun, when he has to do it everyday for his livelihood, and we are paying to do it too! It really opens your eyes to the conveniences we enjoy everyday, not wanting or needing.
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This hike ended with snacks and drinks at the bottom of the mountains. Then on the bus to head home. Seth, Ada, and Robert slept;) Robert had some pijui to relax.
The second hike was also a level 3, but only about 10km. The terrain was more difficult, rocky, my knees were begging for more uphill or flat, especially with Ada on the front nursing for half the 3 + hour journey. Another reality check when we passed a woman, who looked around 70, lugging a huge bundle of sticks on her back, down this rocky terrain towards the village. The trail meandered over little streams from higher up, crossing on bridges made of huge rocks. The sound of water was so tranquil. Along with views of tiered gardening plots made with stacked rocks, and an occasional donkey grazing made for a serene getaway. Snap back to reality, Wyatt and Seth scream, watch out for all the donkey poop!. Or every hike, it’s inevitable, Seth having to go number two on the trail. Love them;)!!!
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On the most hikes the guides stop everyone for a lunch or snack break, but this one they decided it was a bit too cold and windy. So, we ate our lunch on the move, but later wish we hadn’t when at the village the food just kept coming out plate after plate. It was all delicious, and all tradition dishes of the area.
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Back to the buses, full and ready to rest. Wyatt and Robert slept this time. Again, some relaxing pijui for Robert;).

Sorry for the delay, had it all typed up then lost it…second draft. Hope I remembered everything.

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