Tuesday, August 12, 2008

NBC News Cameras Follow Melanie and Family to the Great Wall

This was my fifth trip up the Great Wall of China but it was definitely unique.

NBC Sports had a car trailing our mini bus to the Great Wall. So we all arrived together. There was a sports anchorwoman, a camera guy, an audio guy with a big boom, a producer, and a "go to" Chinese speaking assistant.

The poor cameraman had to haul up a huge TV camera plus a big shoulder bag of "stuff." Several in our group offered to help him but he refused. He was sweating in this sweltering environ even before we left the parking lot!

Thank goodness there had been a downpour of rain a few hours earlier. It cooled things down to around 82 but the humidity was still a factor. We walked the steep incline to the point of a cable car jump point. Souvenir hawkers begged our RMB (Yuan). I bought a banana but saved buying the "I Climbed the Great Wall" T-shirt until the walk back to the bus. Why haul gifts around when there was serious climbing to do?

We took the cable car up the steep hillside. Be aware that not all the GW sites have a cable car. The government had closed Badaling which is a more popular site.

We went up the cable car and traversed the wall up and down for about a mile. It is steep going both up and down and it had rained making the "down" part seem dangerous in places. The media interviewed Mel and family all along the walk. It should be fun to see the edited program.

There was a little breeze that swept slightly through the turrets of the wall. If you stood right up to one you could get cool. Otherwise, remember, you are on a walled walk-way. There is no breeze!

It was a great trip. I will edit in more later and write about the trip we took later in the day to the orphanage.

For now...gotta go. I will continue from Heathrow in the morning. The morning of the day I leave to come home:o)

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