NATALIA Antrobus literally felt on top of the world when her partner Terry Williams asked her to marry him at the start of the month.
For the couple were standing. breathless, at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro after completing an energy-sapping hike to the highest point in Africa.
Natalia, 33, a native of Russia who moved to North Wales a decade ago, accepted the romantic proposal and now, just days after arriving back home, the pair are busily making plans for their big day.
The offer of marriage capped an incredible trip of a lifetime for Natalia and Terry, an engineer, who took on the challenge to raise more than £1,700 for Dorin Park Special School in Chester and the Clwyd Special Riding Centre in Llanfynydd, where disabled children can learn to ride horses.
Natalia, who works for MBNA in Chester, said: 'I was quite vacant when Terry asked me to marry him because it was really difficult getting to the top and I was exhausted. But I managed to mouth 'yes' and now I can't wait for the wedding. He bought me a ring of 18ct white gold with Tanzanite gems when we got back to Zanzibar. It's beautiful.'
The keen walkers and big Leeds United fans began their five-day trek on January 31 and passed through lush rainforest, moorland, snow fields and ice cliffs
Natalia recalled: 'We both had a spur of the moment desire to take on such a challenge and booked the trip ourselves.
`The last ascent was horrendous, we really wondered what we were doing there. It was much harder than we had expected but the thought of raising money for charity kept us going.
'It was a very cold but beautiful, cloudless day and we both had tears in our eyes because we were so worn-out. Then Terry proposed and that brought a big smile back to my face!'
After vowing they would never attempt such a feat again, Natalia admits the couple - who live in Sychdyn, Flintshire - have both been bitten by the adventure bug.