Madonna has a lot to answer for. She’s the reason I’m huffing and puffing right now. As you read this, I am on the Whale Trail, climbing a mountain that is 611m high. The literature will tell you it’s a “moderate to strenuous” climb. I’ve read dozens of accounts and blogs in which people have recorded such opposing views of the trail that it’s hard to judge. They range from “I was exhausted, my legs rubbery from the get-go. I had to rest so often that I summited the mountain in the dark. And, I’d forgotten to take a torch! #lasttimeeverforme” Another trailer wrote: “Sheer exhilaration. And even though I was relatively unfit, the walk was less difficult than expected.” I have no idea what to expect –I’m a hiking virgin – and therefore am terrified at the prospect wandering into unknown territory. How will my body cope with having to walk for 55kms over five days? Not that I have not been training for it. I’ve walked between 6 and 10km five mornings a week since the end of the winter....

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