Great Wall of China Trek – Doctor Trip Report October 2016

Written by our expedition doctor Colm Power, who was the expedition medic on our Great Wall of China Trek October 2016

This was my third expedition as doctor with Earth’s Edge.  I have previously been on expeditions to Kilimanjaro and to Machu Picchu.  This one, in my opinion, rates equally high with my previous two trips.  It proved to me that it is not necessary to be challenged by altitude if you want to achieve something special.  The Great Wall of China trek is as stimulating and exciting as anything I have done before.  It is physically challenging, also scenic and historically fascinating.  It has all the ingredients for a wonderful experience and everyone in our group expressed just that.

The success of the expedition is also largely due to excellent research of trip by Earth’s Edge to plan a great and varied itinerary.  Our Earth’s Edge guide Louise was highly professional, able and experienced.  The local Chinese guide was wonderful, informative, efficient, and tears were shed when we had to part at the end of the expedition.  Can’t praise him enough.

Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China 2016 Team

As medical doctor to the expedition, fortunately the demands were not excessive.  However, it was reassuring to have a well-equipped medical kit.  Ironically, I was the first patient myself.  A viral upper respiratory tract infection struck me soon after arrival.  The group joked that they would have to look after me, in their own interests.  I got lots of advice to take lozenges, sweets, vitamins, fruit, beef stew, antihistamines, decongestants and to drink plenty of fluids.  It was lovely to be so cared for.  Fortunately, I kicked the virus after 24 hours and all was well.

For the first four days, I walked at the back of the group, watching out for any problems.  I was on toilet protection duties if anyone needed to visit the bush W.C.  Being guardian of the toilet is a very responsible and trusted job, fortunately no-one was lost in action!

My first duty in the mornings was to make the Flahavan’s porridge to add to our local Chinese breakfast.  The group loved their bowl of porridge, and it gave a great start to the day.  Teaching the local chef how to make porridge using sign language was great fun.  Each morning one of our group took on the task also, as it turns out there is more than one way to make good porridge.  Some like it thick, some thin, some with honey etc.  We had a competition for the best porridge.  It’s still disputed who won.

At the celebration dinner, Louise presented everyone with medals to congratulate us on our achievement.  It’s a medal I will treasure, as much as any other.  On our final day we had a whistle-stop tour of Beijing City’s main tourist attractions.  It’s amazing how much you can see in a day.

I can only recommend this expedition as amongst the best I have ever done.

If you are interested in joining us on our Great Wall of China Trek please visit – https://www.earths-edge.com/expedition/great-wall-of-china-trek/

 

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