No need for us to worry though, this was the highlight of our adventure so far. Arriving at 8, we beat the crowds and for the first hour or two shared this wall with only half a dozen other early birds as the morning mist defined the rolling hills into grades of slate blue.
The four hours that we'd arranged with our driver to wait for us went by quickly as we climbed up and down this relatively short section of the wall, constantly confronting another view that was even more breathtaking than the last. By midday, the coach parties had started to arrive, and we congratulated ourselves on a good plan. Back to our taxi and a snoozy return journey to Beijing.