OP here. I wasn't expecting this to get published. The longer version of the story is that with a couple of friends I decided to go on a hike through Tiger Leaping Gorge on the banks of the Yangtze River. One of the big problems with the hike is the altitude. Much of the hike is at around 2km above sea level. Basically, after around 4 hours of hiking almost continuously uphill I was pretty tired. One friend was also tired and took an offer to get a donkey ride to the top of the 28 bends (the most notoriously difficult part of the whole 2-day hike). The woman who owned the donkey wasn't actually that old, probably early 50's (I'm 40ish) and works taking travellers to the top of the bends. I was tempted to also get a donkey but elected to instead give my backpack to my friend on the donkey and try to race him up the slope on foot. The two of us actually hiking the bends set off while the woman who owned the donkey saddled it. I actually felt pretty good that it was only at the 16th bend that she managed to catch up with us. That was until I noticed that she'd decided that my bag was too heavy for the donkey and she was carrying it herself! But in the end I did complete the entire hike. Got some amazing photos and really enjoyed myself. Probably got a bit fitter too.