Walking the Great Wall

[10:33 PM, 5/8/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: An other wall walk up the road past terraced plantings of walnut trees which gradually give way to sweet chestnuts. Mostly quite young trees. A very steep ascent!! We wind up the road and take an earth path among the bushes completely failing to see the proper concrete one... Ip and up this walk takes us nearly two hours with lots of stops for breath in around 30C on a fairly cloudy day. My phone says we've only covered 4K when we finally reach the wall and find a lady with a stall selling trinkets and fizzy drinks!  The wall is mad teetering on these high narrow ridges it loops Up and down through the trees that have grown up around it. We walk along it through more or less ruinous forts lovely sturdy Romanesque buildings. The one we stop at has suffered some collapse it's front has fallen off and rubble has fallen into its back blocking the exits. A wobbly pile of the neat square blocks had been made against one wall so that one can climb through the collapsed barrel vault and up to the next bit of wall. This ascends at some crazy steep angle and seems to be covered with a perfect smooth pavement not like our steep bit yesterday which had good steps. We don't go up but are passed as we draw by a number of large hearty types, largely boys, Australian, Dutch, Chinese?                        

Temples and River Gods and Forbidden Cities

[3:42 AM, 5/6/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Friday a day of touristic exploration starting with a breakfast for champions (what else?)    

[3:57 AM, 5/6/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Then a bike ride. Plus points: Beijing is totally flat, traffic is not fast, weather was sunny and windy. Minus points: traffic is somewhat chaotic - each man for himself, pedestrians do not have right of way on zebra crossings, there are bike lanes but shared by parked cars, tuktuk type vehicles,motor bikes, pedestrians with pushchairs or other wheeled luggage and bicycle rickshaws, rules of the road do not apply... pass where ye may! And cars can turn right on red. Ah well following Rose made it less scary and I started to get slightly used to it by afternoon. So we went to the Houtong districts. Old Peking style areas single storey buildings narrow streets. The buildings and houses are organised around courtyards with only a small face into the road. Lots of congestion potential  cars just creeping and squeezing along among all the bikes and other vehicles and junk parked on the streets. Occasional large and grand buildings, temples and posh dwellings which have grand entranceways.          

[4:00 AM, 5/6/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Then lunch at a Younan place: lots of chillies and interesting salads and on to look at the Forbidden City, from the temple on a hill expressly built in order to show the populace the might of their emperor. We didn't go in.                        

Back to Beijing

[1:43 AM, 5/4/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Home t Beijing where it is gray and the air fairly polluted. Two glasses of wine (I haven't had a drink in weeks!) and two cats. Bad drawings no need t put up but I can't have a day with no drawing!!                                                                        
[12:00 PM, 5/4/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Today we couldn't go out. Huge pollution a sand storm in the Gobi so drawing eachother. X                                                
[12:01 PM, 5/4/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Tomorrow we will go out n find something interesting!

[11:34 AM, 5/5/2017] Steph Black: Lovely!                        
[3:41 AM, 5/6/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: We did make a tiny foray into the outdoors - to the spa across the way for a post-Mongolian pedicure. Total distance walked on thurs 0.55k.

Day Nine: Tokyo to Beijing

Day Eight

Last day in Japan...

Day Six

Here, we set off on our own to walk through a cave and across a clear karst plateau - going from a traditional Japanese youth hostel accommodation to the Royal Intelligent Hotel.

Walking Japan/Meditations in Blue

The day before we'd visited a potter up in the mountains, where we painted some flat plates with blue underglaze. 

Day Five/Japan

Today we have come south and are staying in a traditional inn. Last night we went to a traditional dance performed by local chaps in a temple. Fab costumes, masks and writing dragons - but drawing them just felt too challenging.

Day Three/Japan

On Thursday, we did so much walking there wasn't time to draw until waiting for the  train home. The results are some typical Japanese landscapes - and a storage shed built of clay and daub -- to resit fire and protect its precious contents! Then on Friday, a trip to the silver mine and a conserved historic village. 

Day Two/In Transit Beijing to Japan

In transit from Beijing and toward a rainy day train delay in Japan.

Day One/Goings & Comings

Day One

Drawing #1