AN intrepid adventurer is back from her travels after a gruelling trek of more than 35km along the Great Wall of China.

Bridget Waterer was among a 23-strong team who set off from Essex to take on a stretch of one of the Seven Wonders of the World to raise cash for the Essex air Ambulance.

The 59-year-old had struggled to find somewhere suitable to train for the arduous expedition along the Great Wall at home in Belchamp Walter.

"The place I found most helpful was Clare Country Park," she said.

"There are 50 steps there up to the mount so I would go for an hour and plod up and down them because there is quite a sharp slope at the end of it."

The Great Wall itself didn't fail to impress, snaking its way over the mountains as far as the eye could see.

Bridget said: "It was absolutely brilliant.

"The wall was fantastic. It was the remoteness I loved ad the wall just snakes every which way.

"Having not a clue what we were letting ourselves in for, a team of 23 of us climbed and trekked 36km of the Great Wall, experiencing jet lag, cultural differences, getting to know complete strangers, vertigo, Asian hornets, slippery stony high ascents and descents and steps of all depths and lengths - we literally had to watch every step we took.

"On the steepest angled steps often it was best to just crawl up them and not look down!

"Some of the parts were well off the tourist trail where we didn't see a soul and we also had the honour of placing another brick on the wall in a newly repaired section.

"We took a ride in rickshaws around the Old City and watched an amazing acrobatic show in the evening.

"We visited the Temple of Heaven Park, Tian Anmen Square and the Forbidden City, and on the final day we experienced a day in Beijing.

She also scaled the 'Heavenly Ladder' with its strength-sapping 460 steps at a a killer 45-degree angle.

Her personal target was to raise £3,300 for the air ambulance.

In total the team raised a whopping £46,000 which would pay for 21 potentially life-saving missions.

Bridget added: " My very grateful thanks to all who supported me in so many ways to achieve my target and beyond - those who helped at events and gave so generously to this cause.

"I would recommend a challenge as a great way to fundraise.

"There were many challenges along the way before the trek but that was all part of the fun.

"It has been a privilege to spend time with such an interesting group of people on what can only be described as our extraordinary journey, and we all finished together, knowing that 'we did it'.