Jamie Bradish & Rob England - a US Pair Took 10 Months to Walk the Great Wall

In March 2007, Jamie Bradish & Rob England, a pair from the United States accomplished the feats of hiking the entire Great Wall of China. Their journey started from the Yumenguan Great Wall in the Gansu Province to the easternmost point of the Great Wall on Hushan Mountain, near the border of North Korea. The pair took 10 months to walk the Great Wall, adding up to more than 2,900 km (1,800 mi). They were treated warmly by Chinese people along the way, leaving an unforgettable memory throughout their lives.

Jamie and Rob walked the whole Great Wall in 10 months

Jamie Bradish was a 37-year-old woman from Michigan State when she started to walk the entire Great Wall with Rob England in May of 2006. Jamie was actually a solo traveler before, but this time, when she thought of walking the entire Great Wall, she determined to take a partner because she knew it would be an overwhelmingly difficult hike of nearly 3,000 km. Coincidently, she met her college classmate Rob England in a wedding party. At the same age, the two persons found each other very congenial and they soon decided to hike the Great Wall together.

Jamie and Rob called themselves “Great Wall Nuts”. They soon took actions after they made out the plan. They set off from the Yumenguan Great Wall and walked at an average pace of 29 kilometers per day. Sometimes, they walked on the Great Wall; sometimes, they hiked along the nearby highways, but they always kept the Great Wall within their sight. When the two partners arrived at the last beacon tower at Hushan Great Wall, the journey ended successfully. As Rob concluded, they were focusing on walking and it was their goal to complete the planned distance every day. Looking back, the things happened on the way were so meaningful that he felt very contented.

Mistaken as spies during the hike

As the two were not familiar with China, they often lost the way and did not know where they were. In Jamie’s travel blog, she recorded an interesting experience of being cross-examined by soldiers. One day, they accidently entered a place with a sign of “Nature Reserve” and ran into a few soldiers. They chatted cheerfully with the soldiers for a couple of hours before realizing that they were being cross-examined. It turned out they broke into the military restricted area and were mistaken as spies. Fortunately, the two were allowed to leave safely after all things were clear. 

The warm Chinese people touched the pair

During Jamie and Rob’s Great Wall walk, the hospitality of Chinese people left them a deep impression. What impressed them most was the experience in a primary school. One day, they planned to take a break but ended up playing with a group of children for an afternoon in a primary school. They were even invited for dinner at the teacher’s home. What’s more, the people they met on the way always gave them food and water, invited them to have a meal together, or took them for a free ride. In her blog, she wrote that the friendliness of Chinese people surprised them. They came to China expecting to fall in love with the Great Wall, but they found the people there were lovely as well.

The Great Wall was not the first choice of the hike

As a keen traveler, Jamie Bradish was the one who initiated this long Great Wall hike. She claimed to have a strong interest in hike since she was young. She planned to take a long walk along the Appalachian Trail in the US firstly, but found the surroundings were not safe. “Where is the best place for me to take such a long hike? Of course, it should be the Great Wall of China.” Undoubtedly, the Great Wall hike did not disappoint her.

 Read stories of others who have walked the entire Great Wall of China:
 William Edgar Geil - The First One Hiked the Entire Great Wall of China: He took 3 months and finished in 1908.
 Dong Yaohui Hiked the Entire Great Wall: He took 508 days and completed on September 24, 1985
 Liu Yutian – the First Person Hiked the Great Wall Alone: He took 2 years and finished on April 5, 1986.
 William Lindsay - Working on Great Wall Protection after Trekking: He took 8 months to hike in 1987.
 Sally - the Only Woman Walked the Entire Great Wall of China Alone: She took half a year to hike in 1990.
 Ren Erlin & Ren Zigeng – Chinese Father and Son Trekked the Great Wall: They took 89 days and finished the hiking in 2003.
 Stephen Robert Loken – the First Person Walked to the East End of Hushan Great Wall: He took 601 days and completed in 2011.

  Further Reading:
How to Hike the Full Length of the Great Wall of China? 8,851.8 km!
How Long to Walk the Great Wall of China?
Has anyone walked the Great Wall of China?
- Last updated on Jun. 10, 2020 -
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