Trekking the Great Walk of China

Have you every fancied doing something amazing for charity – ticking a long-held ambition off your bucket list whilst helping to transform the lives of local people in need?!

What about the unique experience of trekking along the Great Wall of China?

Koreen Hubbard from K2 Media Services Ltd in Leicester  decided to trek along the Great Wall of China to help raise funds for Charity Link in September and raised £1,600 for us in the process.  Koreen says it was a tough but an amazing experience (she got to help mend some of the wall whilst she was there) and she made some great friends on the trip.

Earlier this year, another fantastic supporter, Aime Armstrong, took on this challenge to help raise funds.  Aime gave us this overview of her experience and why she decided to take part in the first place:

“I first learnt about Charity Link when I joined the Leicester Business Network (where half of the membership fee is given as a donation).  Now I’m no lithe athlete, but I’m up for a challenge, so when the fabulous Dee Beckett (an amazing business coach) suggested that I join a group of ladies doing Charity Link’s Leicestershire 3 Peaks Challenge I had said yes before my brain had kicked in. Little did I to know that signing up would lead me to fly half way across the world.  The 3 peaks was an amazing day, as a group we raised a whopping £3,700 and it reminded me that I was capable of more than I gave myself credit for. Not only had I walked further than I ever had before, I had enjoyed every minute, met some wonderful people, raised some money and even become a cover girl (Charity Link featured my beaming face on the front of one of their magazines!!!!).  So one crazy morning I decided to sign up to do a 5 day trek along the Great Wall of China.

I had always wanted to go to China, and although the thought of such a physical challenge in such an exotic location was daunting, I was determined to give it a go.  I started training and before I knew it the day had arrived and I was boarding the plane with 23 other intrepid women.  The trip was organised by a company called Dream Challenges, and it was a women only group, so there were lots of solo travellers.  I thought I would be on my own, but when I told my Mum I was going to China, despite being 69, her response was “Can I come?”.

After an 11 hour flight mum and me tumbled sleepily into the heat of Beijing.  China wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, it was both more familiar, and yet more different than I imagined.  People were friendly and curious, keen to take our photos. The walks themselves were more challenging than I could possibly have imagined.  Over 5 days the group walked around 50 miles, and climbed around 634 flights of stairs (that is the equivalent of climbing up the Shard twice a day, and then climbing back down again twice a day).  It was worth it for the panoramic views from the wall though, and the sense of enormous peace.  We often didn’t see anyone outside of the group for hours, and there was no noise, no modern world, just beautiful sunshine.  After our walk we got to spend a day in Beijing visiting the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, learning about the silk trade and eating Peking Duck like the locals.  My adventure to China will be one of the highpoints of my life, I achieved so much more than I thought I was capable of, laughed, drank, danced and made friends for life.  Oh and I raised some money too…!

If you are thinking about doing something similar, seize the day, if someone like me can do a challenge like this, so can you!”

Thanks so much to Koreen and Aime.  And, if you may be  interested in taking part in a Great Wall of China Trek, or a host of other organised overseas challenges to raise funds for Charity Link, please email rachel.markham@charity-link.org or click here to read more about some of the challenges available  

Photo – Aime on her Great Wall of China Trek.