Edited by Sandra M
I arrived in China on Sept 19th and couldn’t wait to visited the beautiful monstrous world wonder of my dreams, I went there the next day. As this beautiful sleeping dragon called The Great Wall lay before me, it beauty and architecture literally took my breathe away. The part of the Great Wall that I planned to wheel on lies on top of a mountain range about 1-2 hours drive outside of central Beijing.
After parking the vehicle, we had to walk/wheel uphill for about 2 km to get to the base of the BaDaLing Great Wall, this itself was a workout and half. Next is going through one specially made wheelchair ramp built during the 2008 Paralympics (to my surprise, they follow the North American slop height standard), 1 slightly higher slop, then one last wheelchair ramp like the previous before getting to the wheelchair entrance.
After entering, one must go up a 15-20-degree stone made (looks like original wall structure) pathway to go up to the watch tower, after getting bumped over 2 steps within the watch tower, I must get bumped up another 8 steps before I am actually on the wall and ready for my challenge.
Now that I was on the wall, I’m faced with the new challenge. I had prepared myself for the high attitude, warm temperature as well as the degree of incline of the wall, but what I was not prepared for was the slanted slopped walkway, the very warn down rocks and especially the cement holding the rocks together were still remaining therefore the terrain was like mini stairs or boxes and very difficult to push up. I tried a few pushes to get a feel of the wall… for a quadriplegic, to use the word difficult to describe the experience is an understatement.
My boyfriend was very concerned after seeing me struggle and urged me to reconsider, I smiled and said “I’ll let you know.” but deep down I already have the answer. Now that I have come 8000 km, I saw my finish line and knew what I am facing… I just need to ready myself. After seeing the determination in my eyes, my boyfriend shook his head and knew my answer too.