Walk your own walk: whether you are part of a group or just two, you will each walk at your own pace, which means much alone time. You need your energy so don’t try to keep up or catch up with those in front – sooner or later they will stop and wait for you.
Be comfortable with your own company (see point above).
Watch where you are walking – footpaths and tracks are uneven and often narrow. A misplaced step could mean a twisted ankle or a long fall!
Stop often – the scenery is amazing but when you’re looking down at your feet you miss it, so stop, look around, drink it in, and then walk on.
The ups and downs vary in steepness, and occasionally (rarely) there are short flat sections. Enjoy the less steep bits and relish the flat. As for the rest, well, there’s no other way so just keep plodding.
When it gets tough, set small goals: the next rise, the next 10 trees, the next bend and rest.
When the path is high and narrow and the bridges seem frail, be reminded that goats, donkeys, mules and horses travel these paths everyday – and they are much bigger and heavier than you!
Believe in angels: when horsemen appear out of nowhere and encourage you, then disappear just as quickly, or you meet other travellers who take your bag and lead you by hand over dangerous rock faces – accept their help graciously and be thankful.
When your feet hurt and you’re tired, spare a thought for the folk who live in these difficult places and walk these trails day in and day out, carrying heavy loads because there is no other option.
Be thankful for the opportunity to spend time among such incredible scenery with amazing people.