Naina and Neena are delighted to announce their forthcoming event, Naina & Neena’s Journey:
Post Event Update
25 October 2016
We boarded our Emirates flight from Heathrow on the 3rd October 2015, finally arriving 13 hours later in to the bustling city of Beijing. After a group briefing, and a meet and greet with our 43 fellow trekkers it was straight to bed as we had a 6.30am wake-up call the next morning. We were soon on our way through Monday morning Beijing traffic for a 3 hour journey to the start of our half day trek, Huangyaguan. First major obstacle was a toilet stop Chinese style with no doors! After overcoming our inhibitions, we started our trek. We walked along a section which began at Taipingzhai and then returned along the Great Wall to Huangyaguan. We covered many steps of varying heights and widths. After a few shaky legs, it was time for lunch and three hour drive to our second night the Impression Inn.
Day 2 was another early start with a 6.30am wake up call. After a basic breakfast we were soon on our way for a journey of an hour and a half to the start of our walk at Gubeikou. We were joined by a group of local ladies known as the ‘hello’ ladies. They soon became an asset helping us with the difficult parts of our walk. They had their motives. We went trekking along the beautiful and scenic Gubeikou wall. The views were picturesque and for the first time this is what we felt we had come to experience. We trekked along parts of the wall with shear drops on either side where a few people were struggling with vertigo. We climbed many steps to ascend and descend 20 watch towers. The weather was very warm at 27 degrees and by lunch time we were glad for a rest inside the coolness of one of the watchtowers. Parts of the wall were closed due to military control and so we had to descend the mountain on a meandering dirt track through woodland to rejoin the wall at tower 21. Some of the watch towers were very challenging with very narrow foot holes and steps to reach the next tower. At this point we were on the Jinshaling section of the wall which is very touristic and in complete contrast to the first part of our walk. After a long 9 hour trek, we were welcomed into an extremely basic hostel with very poor quality food and facilities. Fortunately we had bought our own supplies of homemade treats in case with lots of cups of tea. All in all it was a challenging day and we felt that our training had certainly paid off.
We had the luxury of an extra hour in bed on Day 3, with an alarm call of 7:30am. Unfortunately it was not in a hostel that you would have spent an hour longer than needed! Breakfast was spam, white bread and eggs! The walk started with those less able being given the option of traveling on a cable car, whilst the rest of us started the walk in high spirits. The first lot of steps and inclines soon sorted the “men from the boys”. The incline and steps were nothing like we had experienced yesterday, with literally vertical inclines which were smooth slabs of concrete with no footholds. It was sheer will power and determination that got us to the top, only to look towards the next watchtower and saw exactly the same! The “hello ladies” were with us again and sweet as they were they wouldn’t let us go without buying their trinkets and Great Wall gifts. We stopped for lunch at the point where the wall has started to crumble. A few of the group carried onto the next two watch towers but the terrain was quite challenging. After lunch it was an hour walk off the wall towards our waiting coach, which was going to take us to our accommodation for night 4.
Our Challenging Journey...
We are keen walkers who walk regularly for physical and social benefits. We have completed several half Marathon and full marathon walks raising money for various charities over recent years.
Trekking the Great Wall has been a passion each one of us has been very keen to participate in simply because being a natural wonder of the world the scenery will be breath-taking and the terrain challenging encouraging us to be further disciplined in our efforts to train harder and in exceeding our natural limitations.
Our walk is planned for October 2015 and the trek will involve walking a distance of several miles for up to 8 hours a day for a week.
As well as being a personal challenge, we would like to raise awareness of the charity One Kind Act. Through sponsorship and donation, I am personally hoping to make a collection to put towards the plight of street children in India. Children are an emotive subject and very close to my heart and I believe that every child deserves to be loved and raised in a happy and secure environment. In my attempts to make a difference I was introduced to Matthew (through my yoga teacher) who himself was an orphan with an extremely tumultuous childhood. His life story was humbling and as a result of his own hardship he wanted that no other children should have to suffer like he did. Through sheer hard work, the kindness of others and humble volunteers he has established several orphanages in Goa. The organisation that raises the profile of this cause is www.childrescue.net It is my intention to visit as a volunteer in the future and to further this cause in whichever way I can.
The Great Wall of China trek will be challenging both physically as well as mentally. Having come from a family that believes in helping others, I would like to give something back myself. If the money that is raised through pledges and donations makes a difference to even one person in this world, I will feel that my personal challenge is complete. I am supporting two charities; OKA and Mycenae Gravis, of which both causes are very close to my heart.
Mycenae Gravis can affect any one of us at any time, it is an autoimmune condition that affects the nerves and muscles. Autoimmune conditions are caused by the body's immune system mistakenly attacking healthy tissue.
I hope that you will be able to support both of us by giving a donation to enable us to help others less fortunate than ourselves. All these charities rely totally on the generous donations of people like yourselves.
About One Kind Act
One Kind Act Changes Communities and lives of others globally who suffer as a result of Poverty of Health, Nutrition and Education and may have Fallen Through The Net of the larger charities. Learn More here