AN INSPIRATIONAL Basildon grandmother who tackled a gruelling walking challenge in the searing heat at the age of 82 has written a book to motivate other older people.

Angela Lucas’ ‘How to be a SuperAger: Living Life to the Max in Your 50s, 60s and Beyond’ discusses the ways we can grow old without losing our sense of adventure.

Age was no barrier to Angela, who walked 62 miles through the Spanish mountains, a tough challenge known as Camino de Santiago.

Now 84, Angela said: “My daughter Sharon had done the walk four years before, and I thought it sounded like something I’d love to achieve. So I trained for 18 months, doing lots of walking and getting my distances up.

“Sharon and I did the Camino together over two weeks. At home, I’m very independent which gets on my family’s nerves, but I was very dependent on her during the walk. On the second day, I fell headfirst into the mud with my backpack on, and another time she had to pull me up a hill!”

She added: “I had a surreal moment when a man was walking towards us one day. This was unusual, as everyone else was walking in the same direction. He came up to me and asked if I was the old lady who was 82. I didn’t see myself that way, but said yes! It turned out he had been thinking of quitting, but his family told him to come and speak to me. After we’d had a chat, he decided to carry on.”

Committed Christian Angela said arriving at Santiago Cathedral, the final destination, was an “amazing” experience. When she came home, the grandmother of 11 completed a creative writing course with the Open University – her third degree in less than ten years - and was invited to a writers’ retreat by publishers Panoma Press.

Her book, which encourages people to see ageing as something to be relished, stemmed from there.

She said: “Luckily, I’ve never been daunted by the idea of getting older. I find it sad when someone’s only adventure is sitting down or going to bingo.”

Sadly, on Mother’s Day, her home of 30 years was severely smoke damaged following a fire in a neighbour’s property. Since then, she has been living in a hotel.“I’ve lost almost everything, and spent a lot of time grieving,” she said. “But then I thought of the Camino and told myself to stop being miserable. This is just another challenge – I call it a pilgrimage to rebuilding my home. I’ve been writing a journal about my experiences and am hoping I can turn it into a book one day.”

How to be a SuperAger: Living Life to the Max in Your 50s, 60s and Beyond by Angela Lucas has been released in paperback and e-book by Panoma Press.