Page last updated at 11:07 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 12:07 UK

Blind woman conquers Great Wall

Janet Salt (left) and Glynis Howard (right)
The Chinese guides were shocked to see a blind woman on the Wall

A deaf and blind woman has managed to walk part of the Great Wall of China in memory of her late husband.

Janet Salt completed 68km (42 miles) of the trek, climbing up and down watchtowers with just her walking stick and a friend for support.

The 52-year-old, who raised £5,000 for Henshaws' - a charity for the blind - had planned to do it with her husband Mike, but he died in January.

She said: "I was a bit of a phenomenon - the local people were very shocked."

Guiding her on the trek was Glynis Howard, her friend and Henshaws' rehabilitation manager.

The duo, from Stockport, had trained since May for the feat, which meant nine-hour walks everyday.

'Full of admiration'

Mrs Salt said: "We were walking on unconstructed parts of the wall, at quite a height.

"In one four-hour session we had to pass 30 watchtowers, which meant climbing up onto the wall, and up and down the watchtower, which was really tough.

"The Chinese guides who accompanied us were surprised that a blind person would dare attempt the walk.

"I was something of a phenomenon."

Ms Howard said: "The wall is so high, I think they thought she had a death wish.

"But they were amazed by the achievement. At the end of the trek she was presented with a caddy of tea by the leader of the local guides - they said they were full of admiration for her."

Mrs Salt's daughter, Andrea, is also visually impaired.

Her proud mother said: "Andrea is competitive just like me. She did an even longer trek in Nepal last year."



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