Africa Regional Specialist and avid hiker Hilary Walters shares her training tips for Mountain Travel Sobek's Strenuous and Ultimate Challenge hiking trips.
"When my cheap local flashlight flickered and died in the total darkness of an Indonesian jungle path, I tried to look at the bright side of things. At least the sunset on the summit had been pretty."
"With four million annual visitors, you wouldn't think Yosemite would be a spot for solitude. But hike for just a mile or two away from the crowded main valley, and you'll discover, as I did, the peaceful tranquility of one of America's most popular parks."
"While a group hike has the advantages of a trusted guide, companionship, and safety, the downside is that you’re in traffic—that very same congestion you left home to avoid. While road rage on the trail is rare, the frustration of a group march can be real, whether you’re a high-speed hiker or a dawdler. But a couple lessons I learned on the Inca Trail changed my perspective."
"The air was humid, the road was rocky, and the path just seemed to keep going uphill. I was hiking Japan’s “Samurai Trail” (on Mountain Travel Sobek’s Walking Japan trip) but I felt like a peasant. Sweaty, thirsty, dust-covered, I arrived with my group at the village of Hirasawa, a drab collection of concrete buildings linked by a tangle of telephone wires. It hardly seemed the right reward for a difficult day of hiking. Little did I know this unassuming destination would become a surprise highlight of our trip, a gold-medal payoff we’d be talking about for years."