Passion & Dedication

Blog

Why are we running?

I have found that running gives me time to think, running give me time to introspect and running helps me heal. I have embarked on all these journeys over the past 12 years for probably two main reasons. I suppose the first is the selfish side. It’s something I love to do, to push myself mentally and physically to the limit to test the mind and the body. But also to be out there where few have travelled and experience the real side of life....

The Dragon snore

It had been a long trek on the wall to get to the crew meeting point, which was in a small remote village where we were going to spend the evening. Hopefully we would be able to convince a farmer to rent us a room or two as it was freezing cold. But it was one of those valleys where the wall dropped down and down – a never-ending downward spiral for 5 km. We trundled down and down into the village. Every time we...

Not just a pretty face

Don’t let a pretty face fool you.   A lot has changed in the last 12 years since I last ran the wall, but the one thing that I have noticed is the amount of areas of the wall that are now closed and fenced off because they have been turned into massive tourist parks. You will find a small section of the park is dedicated to the wall, but most of it is all sorts of other touristy things that are not directly related to the...

Get those 2 out of Mongolia

I don’t know how this keeps on happening, but somehow, we keep losing the Wall or following the wrong bit of Wall and every time we do it we end up in inner/outer somewhere called Mongolia.   We were on a bad day; we had lost each other as well as Pete (the camera man). The weather was turning and starting to rain. The worst was we had a few hours to get to our collection point as well as to find a way through the yellow...

Game watching

I think a lot of us have experienced some sort of game watching, whether it’s birding or out there on a safari game drive, they are similar. You are up early in the morning. A quick cup of coffee, a rusk and you all bundle out the door, excited at what the day will yield. The sun is just peaking over the horizon, lazily casting rays of light across the valley as it burns away the blanket of mist. One can feel the cold on...

Deserted Villages

Often the highlight of my day is when the wall dips down a valley into a fortified village where the two become one. As you trundle down the mountain slope into the village you hit a time warp, as you are Trans- located into yesteryear, into a bygone error. Time has stood still as you slowly wonder down the small windy cobbled streets, folk pop their heads out from their homes, dressed in blue “Moa suits,” caps and round, thick-rimmed state issue dark glasses. Donkeys labour...

How things have changed 12 years later

The journey is still in its infant stage, but already at this early stage there are many noticeable differences that I have seen along the wall. I must admit that the progress of infrastructural development and city builds I am experiencing is astounding, but there is often a negative cost to progress. In saying this, it depends from what angle one looks at it. I suppose the slant that I am taking is a bit selfish as I love the old world experiences that one lives...

Just to keep going

The mind is an incredible thing, it gives you strength, sometimes lets you forget and escape the reality of life, blocks out pain and then fills difficult voids with memories of the good times, family and friend. It always seems to have the ability to get you over the worst. At the moment Andy and I are staring into this great void, an abyss of pain and uncertainty, not really knowing what the next step is going to be like. Are we able to take it, what...

Rain yes rain

We all know what this means, but I must admit coming from the cape in South Africa, rain has not been a common thing over the past few years. Well believe it or not, nor has it been in this part of China either, in the dry arid landscape of the cold North West. The winter is on the way out, but there are still freezing cold howling winds pushing this mass of cold air across the mountainous area at great speed. Every other day you get...

The Sleeping Beauty

On most of our journeys we have used the walk to directional finder on our phone maps. We are given a point by the crew where they will meet up with us and then we track to that point along the wall. The amazing thing about this app is when you get into a village or city, its finds the quickest route out along crazy little paths and back alleys, the next thing is you are back onto the wall and off you go. Even in...