Blog : Facing the Great Wall of China…

…or at least the beginning of it!

Right at the start of the Great Wall of China on the Journey of Discovery
Right at the start of the Great Wall of China on the Journey of Discovery

It’s been a couple of days since leaving the UK, but we’ve finally caught up with the crew from team from the Journey of Discovery by Land Rover. The journey they’ve had from Birmingham to this point in Western China has been incredible – with all manner of dramas along the way. They’ve administered first aid to a couple of road accident victims, been through Russia and Ukraine, and breezed through the ‘Stans.

I’ve had a day or so to acclimatize myself to China – and the way this place is growing, combined with its sheer scale, and interesting history make it an absolutely fascinating place. The smog in the areas I’ve visited so far is a real problem, and it’s clearly a side effect of the rapid pace of development here. After having spent some time in Xi’an yesterday, there’s a good supply of British cars in attendance. They’re pretty much all hailing from the JLR stable, with Land Rovers currently dominating. But then they do just look at home here.

Back to the expedition, and the Discoveries have been indomitable along the way, riding the roughest roads smoothly on their air suspension, and soaking up all the challenges thrown at them. We’re in the city of Jiayuguan in the Gansu province and at the site of the start of the Chinese Wall. Although the earliest section looks unremarkable, its age and significance make it a humbling experience to visit – although being one of the seven wonders of the world, it’s a shame it can’t all be protected. But then, how could you protect nearly 3900 miles of wall?

Needless to say, the Land Rovers haven’t missed a beat along the way, and as we waft along the road into town – which is currently being made (it will no doubt be excellent once finished, as modern Chinese roads are brilliant) – the car just does not feel like it’s been on an adventure that would have shaken lesser vehicles to pieces. In fact, it feels as tight as a drum. Impressive…


Keith Adams


  1. Ash, we have temp plates – but disappointingly, they are just laminated plastic, and displayed in the windscreen.

    I have a temp Chinese licence too, but that’s also laminated plastic…

  2. Keep Safe Keith and hope you have lots of fun on this trip…
    Loved your pics of the MG & Roewe… We call the 550 by the MG Name here – so they are all MG’s for me….

  3. It always amuses me to see far flung pictures of cars with UK plates 🙂
    (Including the Fiat 500 Belfast to San Francisco and the recent documentary on BBC ‘A Mini Adventure’ to Singapore).

    Was going to ask about the handedness, Russian spec answers that. Also makes sense for driving on the right.

    Are RHD cars banned in China / Russia / the *stans?

  4. Keith, can you beleive your are having this experience?

    You must pinch yourself sometimes!

    What a great life to have, and richly deserved too.

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