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There’s a moment, before the start of Namibia’s Fish River Canyon hike, when your courage threatens to fail. Step up to the viewing platform, and the canyon unfolds before you; with each foot forward, the world falls further away beneath you. The drop is precipitous — and breathtakingly beautiful.

Which makes it all the more surreal, two hours later, to look back up at the starfish-like spines of the platform, now almost 500m above, and know that you’ve found the furthest reaches of that terrifying, tortuous scar, carved over millennia into the barren landscape...

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