Melton best friends complete the Great Wall of China challenge for Dove Cottage

Victoria Goldstein and Ria Prior climbing the Great Wall of China PHOTO: Supplied
Victoria Goldstein and Ria Prior climbing the Great Wall of China PHOTO: Supplied
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Melton best friends climbed the Great Wall of China to raise money for a local hospice.

Victoria Goldstein,34, a practice nurse, and Ria Prior, 33, owner of Bliss Beauty and Tanning, have spent the past year fundraising for Dove Cottage Day Hospice at Stathern in preparation for the Great Wall of China charity challenge.

Together the women, with 32 others, spent a total of five days trekking different parts of the wall in September, in what they say was overall ‘one of the most amazing experiences of their lives’.

However, Victoria explains that the trek itself was definitely a lot harder than both of them were expecting.

“I think I’m pretty fit, but found it more challenging than I expected, mainly due to the giant steps and very steep terrain.

“The experience was tough but made more valuable knowing we have helped others by doing it.”

The two hospice supporters raised £2,700 between them and got to rebuild part of the wall.

Victoria said: “The Great Wall is one of the most beautiful places we have ever been and we were able to lay a brick and leave a note for our loved ones, which will stay there forever.”

Ria added: “Every detail of the challenge from the trek, hotels, meals and optional trips were well thought out; we got to see various parts of the wall and different aspects like rural villages and the busy city centre of Beijing.

“The feeling when we completed the trek was one of accomplishment and emotion.

“The group were so close from day one - everyone was made welcome and we had lots of laughs along the way.

“I’m so pleased we chose to do this for Dove Cottage, my granddad attended the hospice and it makes me happy to see the money raised go to such a worthy cause.”

The pair both highly recommend doing this challenge of a lifetime for a charity.