It’s Day 2 on the Great Wall, and in this update, Adam Sutton talks about climbing to the clouds, flying back to earth and a sing-song with Olivia.
Well, we are two days into this amazing 21-day trek and it’s hard to describe the experiences we’ve had so far or the ones still to come -“ since we got to Beijing on Friday night it’s all been incredible, and since we actually started trekking on Monday it just keeps getting more bloody incredible. It’s an experience that’s hard to describe -“ it’s like being on a mission, as well as making a really personal journey, as well as just having a hell of a lot of fun and adventure.
The main thing those of us who are here doing it have to remember, above everything else, is that the reason we’re all here is first and foremost to raise money for Olivia’s cancer centre, and so I want to start this message with a little bit of an appeal to everyone to give us all a hand in that regard if they haven’t done it yet. Our group -“ which let me tell you is one incredible bunch of people -“ have been given a gee up to keep the spirit going back home and to make the most of all the great coverage the event has had the past few days. What happens is, every night after our hike on the Wall we all go somewhere for dinner together -“ there are about 50 of us in the team so far -“ and tonight, to give us a nudge along they told us that tomorrow night they’re going to tell us who the top 10 fundraisers are so far among the sponsored walkers (that’s what I am.)
I can’t be sure what we’ve raised so far because so much of it goes through the website. I know my little campaign is doing pretty well but I want to keep it going and getting I can tell you we’d love to make a good show of it as far as me and my support network goes -“ not just family and friends, but also the gay community, people who’ve read my book, watched Australian Story and so on. I know we’ve been pushing this a lot, but I reckon what we’re doing is important and it’s bloody hard work so the more people we can get behind it the better. At the website -“ www.greatwalktobeijing.com -“ you can go to the section AUSTRALIA ENTERTAINS, find the photo of my boofhead, click on it and donate as little or as much as you like by credit card -“ the donations start at $5 so it’s like buying a cup of coffee. If you’ve already chipped in, thanks, and if you haven’t, today would be a great day to do it!
Hope you enjoy the photos we’re uploading every day too, we’re also going to try to do a little video bit every day, just so people can follow what we’re doing and feel a part of it in some way. I keep thinking that I wish everyone I know was here to experience it with me so this is about the best alternative. I don’t even know where to start with the stories that I’ve collected already -“ the weird and wonderful things I’ve seen, the typical Cowboy mishaps and balls-ups that have taken place, the people I’ve met, the friends I’m making, and the challenges me and all other walkers are facing every day on this journey. Believe me, it’s a tough and demanding slog -“ some of the climbs we’ve done already the past two days -“ 16km on the Wall on Day One, 11km today, 9km, mostly uphill, coming up on Wednesday -“ have been pretty hard going. Today we climbed so high it felt like we were living in the clouds. But it’s all totally exhilarating, and I’m sharing all this is with a phenomenal bunch of people.
Today we had two other pretty special moments. The first was that at the end of the day’s walk we all flew back down to the bottom on a flying fox, one after the other, soaring above a dam, strapped in to a little harness, and it felt like a way of celebrating doing the impossible. For some of the people I’m walking with here, that’s what this trip is -“ they are cancer survivors, and to watch them climbing these rocky slopes each day, and then ending a day with such a moment of excitement and happiness is really inspiring. Even Olivia -“ who’s nearly 60, and who we’ve discovered has a fear of heights -“ took the flying fox down. She said she had to do it because this whole journey is about facing your fears, and defeating them. The second moment I wanted to tell you about was when we got back to this amazing hotel we’re staying in, nestled in the mountains, you can see the Wall above us. Our rooms all face out to a central courtyard with a giant willow tree in it, and tonight before dinner, Olivia pulled out a guitar and sat quietly singing outside. A few of us joined her and had a moment to talk about for ever -“ singing country songs with Olivia Newton-John in the shadow of the Great Wall at sunset. The great beauty of this event is that everyone has left their egos and attitude at the door. No one is being treated any differently to anyone else. It’s a team thing, and it might sound corny but there is a phenomenal spirit amongst all of us.
There’ll be lots more moments like these to tell you about as we go along. I guess all I can say so far is that they help make me realise what a privilege it is to be here, and what a great lady we have leading us out there every day to face these peaks and valleys while we try to get the money together to build this fantastic cancer centre in her name.
Thanks everyone for their support, once again if you haven’t kicked in yet, I’d be stoked if you went online and did so before the end of the day, and check back at this website and the official one to keep track of how we’re going each day and to check out the photos and videos we’ll be posting every day. I’m off to bed now -“ stuffed is the only word for it! -“ to get the old legs ready for another big day ahead.
YouTube: Adam the Cowboy in China