We set off one morning at 4 am and climbed 1500 steps in darkness, Orion's belt high in the sky.
We could have touched it. We could see the Great Bear. The sky sparkled a million diamonds.
The darkness laid down its head and a new day came to greet us. For all, our last day on the Great Wall.
Mao Zedong (Chairman Mao) said
" bu dao Chang Cheng fei hao han "
(whoever doesn't reach the Great Wall is not a real man)
In the mighty valleys and hills of Simatai, that morning, we had just become men.