How long is the wall?
It has now been 60 days of adventure along the Great Wall. I have had some moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life, others that are better forgotten. I have had the privilege of seeing things that few men will ever, times that I have felt that I was transported back in time and was living that moment. Walking into villages in lost remote desert mountains that seem to have never changed or been effected by modern times, living at peace and harmony with the nature around them for the past 1000 years.
As or journey and story unfolds, so to do the folk and their stories about the wall. I have met scholars and travel ours of the wall, heard stories about people attempting to do the journey, by bicycle, donkey, camel, motorcycle and on foot. But the one fact seems to elude me all the time, how long is the wall? I have heard figures from a journey by a Canadian of 2600 km, others of 3200, 4000, and just over 5000.
During the research of our trip, most of the documentation on the great Ming wall, records show that about 5000 km as being the correct distance. The Chinese call the wall “Chang- Cheng” This basically means unending structure of 10 000 units of distance (the ancient Chinese unit of distance was 1 unit = 500 meters, therefore once again the 5000km distance appears.
Now nearing the 2000km mark, I feel it might be incorrect and the distance between 4 and 5000, seems to be more realistic, but who knows what lies ahead in the twists and turns, ups and downs of the mountains ahead. As we are to be the first to accurately measure the distance, only time will tell. Watch this space!