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Great Walker Completes Journey Across the Great Wall

Robert Loken, a 42-year-old Norwegian engaged in the journey of a life time, following his 21-year-old dream of walking across China’s Great Wall, has finally achieved his goal.

Robert Loken sold his house, quit his job and embarked on his trip with nothing else but the courage and ambition of conquering the Great Wall. It did not matter whether he would be the first to do it or the fastest, so he took his time and just started walking. His incredible journey began last April from Gansu province’s Jiayuguan, the Wall’s western most point, and ended 601 days and 6,000 km later, on Dec. 2nd, in the eastern most point, in Liaoning province’s Dandong.

All this time he had to face temperatures raging from -22C to 40C, scorpions or snakes, but as Robert himself admits, it was all as he imagined it would be. There were definitely some difficult moments, to say the least, one of them being when Robert blacked out for two hours due to high fever, while crossing the snowdrifts in rural Shanxi province. Luckily he had managed to put up his tent beforehand. “If I had lost consciousness, I would have frozen to death in the snow.” He also had to cope with dehydration, scorpions under his tent, snakes, wild dogs chasing him, but he never once thought about giving up. You would think isolation was a big issue as well, but Robert says that although he was physically alone, he always considered the Wall as being his companion “When I went in a town to stock up on food or relax, I would always greet the Great Wall as a friend when I come back.” Keeping a blog was also very helpful and “inspirational”.

This experience was not all about the fulfilling of his dream, it was the chance for a spiritual enrichment through the people he met along the way, many of who happily received him into their houses. But now, after almost two years of traveling, having lived his dream, Robert happily returns home to his parents – “I’m tired of all the experiences, tired of being on the move for such a long time. It’s not the uncertainty of life, but rather, it’s the ever-changing. I wake up in the morning, and I don’t know who I’m going to meet, what I’m going to see or experience and where I’m going to sleep that night.”

 

 

Photos via The Great Walker and Beijing Today

 

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