IT is little wonder that a former hot air balloonist with a love of adventure began life in one of the most exotic of settings.
Avalon resident, Carolinda Witt, was born in the African country Kenya, and said some of her earliest memories were those of confrontations with lions, giraffes and leopards.
"In Kenya, we lived close to the Nairobi Game Park which wasn't fenced off. Lions in the garden at night were a bit scary; there were giraffes as well but leopards were a real problem and one took our dog," said Ms Witt.
At 13, Carolinda moved to South Africa with her family and then at 19 she spread her wings and moved to England. And it was here that her adult adventuring experiences began.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Ms Witt went on to form an association with legendary entrepreneur Richard Branson, and even flew in his hot air balloon.
She said she recalled what first piqued her interest in the sport.
"I was watching TV and saw hot air ballooning and said to myself that I'd give anything to do that," she said.
Barely a month later friends she was entertaining over for dinner said they were going ballooning the next morning, and they asked Ms Witt if she wanted to join them.
Oh course, she said yes, "we went over fields and skimmed low over corn and fences.
"It's like being in the picture, you can control it to an extent and touch tree branches," she said.
"I learnt how to pilot straight away and became one of the first female pilots in England and one of the youngest."
Ms Witt managed to get her commercial pilot's licence some years later, and flew Richard Branson's jumbo-shaped balloon in a trans-Australia balloon race in 1988.
"Richard is completely eccentric and full of energy," she said.
"It was wonderful and it was the culmination of 16 years of ballooning for me," said Ms Witt.
A stint in marketing followed before practicing a wide range of alternative therapies.
"I had always kept fit but five years ago I reached a point in life - pre-menopause," explained Ms Witt. "I was at a major crossroads with my emotions and body."
Through a friend, Ms Witt learnt five ancient Tibetan exercises that she said made her feel more purposeful and endowed her with a better sense of well-being.
After five years of practice and research, she said she had modified the exercises and breathing technique to be done in 10 minutes a day. The method is detailed in her book and CD, T5T, The Five Tibetan Exercise Rites.
The 50 year-old author said, "I feel younger, healthier, happier and stronger. It's turned my life around."