I used to be soldier. A para in fact. In the renowned French Foreign Legion. After my contract was up and I had decided not stay I went looking for home. I was in a specialised mountain combat unit as a soldier and the mountains had become part of me. So when the opportunity presented itself to go back to Africa, as a civilian, to climb a mountain, I was naturally overjoyed.

I found myself on a plane, just a few weeks into civilian life next to an overweight Scottish woman asking me if I thought her neck support for the plane was a good investment. Naturally as a newbee civilian I smiled and nodded politely. The para in me looking down on this poor lady who had no clue and was about to embark on an adventure way beyond her comfort zone. More