One time champion rower and now trailblazing endurance athlete (and self-billed mischief maker), Anna McNuff's incredible challenges are verging on superhuman.

As Anna sees it, spending 25 weeks sleeping wild on London's hilltops, or running the 86-mile length of Hadrian's Wall dressed as a Roman only qualifies as a mini adventure. To make the grade as a proper adventure, it's a 3,000 mile cycle rides across the wilds of New Zealand, or a 5,500 mile rides across the Andres, with a barely-hardcore-at-all ascent some 11 times the height of Everest.

Recently named by the Guardian as one of the top female adventurers of our time, she is also one of The Discovery Channel's Make Your World Bigger Champions.

How she ever found time to share her story with us we'll never know!

So Anna, tell us why the adventure scene has such deep hooks into you?

I started following adventurers when I was sat at a desk in my office job back in 2012. I never knew that kind of travel existed until then. I always had a travel itch, and felt that normal travel wasn't quite for me. I started to read about people like Mark Beaumont, Sarah Outen, Al Humphreys and Dave Cornthwaite and thought "now there's a way to see the world that I can really get in to!".

The idea of combining a physical challenge with travel just seemed too good to be true.

The adventure scene, as you put it, is incredibly important to me because it is a network of positive individuals who support and encourage one another. And that can be rare in a world that has a tendency to be so risk averse in so many ways.

One of the first things I did was email Dave Cornthwaite (we had a mutual friend in common) and tell him about what I felt was a ridiculous idea to ride a bike through the 50 states. He hopped on Skype and set all my fears at ease immediately.

That trip was the start of me discovering that thing that truly makes my heart beat. Out there, on my bike, pushing my body, meeting new people, getting battered by the elements, stopping into schools to chat to kids - that's when I truly felt like me.

Like the me I really wanted to be, not someone influenced by anyone else.

That's another great thing about adventure - you have so much freedom and control over what you do. It allows you to be creative whether it's with videos or blog posts or taking photos. It's up to you how and where you choose to share your journey with others. And I love that.

Lastly, it's led me into the world of motivational speaking. For a gobby bird, I was pretty petrified of public speaking when I was a youngster, or even speaking out in an office. But that's because I realised I had nothing to say.

Adventure, travel, and the challenges you face - they help you to see life with a true perspective.

I now know my mind, and body, far better than I ever did. I have a greater level of confidence to dispense with a fear of failure, and I've found that speaking is the greatest tool I have to help others do just the same.

Can you tell us about a camping moment that really cemented things for you? Or one that didn't quite go as planned?

My best camping memory is the night I spent camped at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It was during an adventure where I'd set out to cycle through the 50 states of America. I was around 3,000 miles into the journey and debating whether I should take the time to turn off the main road and cycle a 90 mile round trip to the North Rim.

I was intrigued because the North Rim was supposed to be more rugged and beautiful than the more well known South Rim. That's probably helped by the fact that it receives just a quarter of the visitors every year.

It poured with rain as I turned off the road to the campground, and the camping area was shrouded in cloud as I wrestled to put up my tent in the downpour. But when I looked up, and the clouds had cleared I realised that the rim of the Grand Canyon was just 10 metres away from me. The actual rim!

The following morning I sat on a rock outside my tent in my Superman pyjamas at 5:30am, with a cup of coffee in my hand, watching the sun rise over the canyon. It was freakin' awesome! And all for the princely sum of $6 for the camping spot.

In stark contrast to that rather serene experience, the worst camping memory was in New Zealand. I was soaked to the skin after a day of running in a storm, and it took a while to find a wild camping spot in a forest at the end of the day. The storm continued through the night and I was a bit worried the tent was going to get picked up by the wind!

In the morning I was just psyching myself up to slip back into my wet running gear when I heard an almighty crack above my head. I dived out of the tent to watch a tree break in half and land just next to it.

It was then that I looked up and realised that the trees were moving an awful lot more than usual in the wind. I have never packed up and got out of a forest so fast!

Who wouldn't! What about your most life changing adventure?

Definitely running the length of New Zealand. It was by far the hardest thing I've ever done - mentally and physically. It pushed me to places I never want to go to again in terms of pain and isolation, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I learnt so much about my own mind out there, and about dealing with the most challenging situations when you're really up sh*t creek!

Like when you're alone in the bush and haven't seen anyone in days and then you sprain your ankle.

But more than that, I am so proud of the New Zealand run because I started it. I started something that I wasn't sure I'd be able to complete. I was massively scared of failing, but I took the first steps and did it anyway. And it always works out.

Once you apply that philosophy to life, and remove a fear of failure, things get a whole lot easier - and the opportunities get even more exciting.

A friend and I are recently back from our adventure to the Andes mountains. We spent 6 months cycling up as many peaks and passes in Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina as we could, taking on 60 passes and over 88,500 metres of ascent. That's equivalent to more than 10 times the height of Everest!

We were entirely self-supported, wild camping along the way and carrying all our gear on our bikes. In April we returned home to the UK with lungs of iron, legs of steel and gigantic grins to match!

So you don't mind a travel companion then! Who would the ideal person to travel with be?

Tina Turner! She has really strong legs, looks great in a sparkly dress, and she could sing to me all the way along!

I also reckon she's had a rough time of it, what with that Ike Turner as a hubby and all, so she'd be super resilient. The big wheels would always keep on turnin' with Tina around!

Brilliant! Is there an inspiring read you'd recommend to get people in the spirit too?

Alastair Humphrey's Moods of Future Joys, for any adventurer struggling with the dichotomy of wanting to be home, but never wanting the journey to end. Al's beautifully wistful writing style will make you feel far less mental, and even perhaps... Normal.

Thinking about where journeys end, as a Londoner, where is your favourite place in the UK?

I think this place is getting seriously overused now, but I LOVE wild camping near Leigh-on-Sea at Haleigh Castle. It's a short and cheap train ride from London, there's a pub that serves cheesy chips, a beautiful ruin of a castle to nestle down in at sundown, and the sunrises in the morning over the Thames Estuary are always just the most wonderful purple-pink hue.

I also love that you can have a 180-degree view of the surrounding land, including the commuter trains which rumble into and out of the city. It's a very special place, whether you're there alone or with friends.

With that write up, it's no surprise that wild camping there has become so popular! Is there a more secret spot that you could share with us too?

I love bothy hunting! There's one in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, not too far from Abergavenny. It's a 13 mile run from Llantony Priory, which is beautiful and has a coffee shop and pub.

The bothy is set on the edge of a reservoir. It's built in stone, sleeps 3 and has a wood burner inside. It's just beautiful, and incredibly peaceful. I'd love to go back there, but I'm also keen to explore all the other bothies the UK has to offer.

Bothies are always a bucket list favourite. What else would you put on a UK bucket list?

Taking on one of Britain's long distance footpaths. We have such an incredible network of them around the country and they're hideously underused. I've started exploring them mostly by running - and donning fancy dress!

So far I've run the length of Hadrian's Wall dressed as a Roman soldier and the Jurassic Coast dressed as a dinosaur. Life is just better in fancy dress, there's no denying that.

The maps for the trails are usually great - they'll show you where the campgrounds are and give local history too. I've got my eyes on the West Highland Way next, or perhaps Offa's Dyke.

Last but not least then, for all of the armchair travellers that fancy some legs of steel, can you offer any tips on how to make adventure a reality?

Find the style of adventure that suits you. I like mine to be really physical, with some element of giving back involved - whether that's stopping in schools to talk to school kids, or fundraising. I've actually found that I find fundraising quite uncomfortable, so I try to give back in other ways.

Figure out whether you like using motorised transport, whether it's the people or the scenery that are more important to you, whether you like to be able to speak the language and most importantly how fast or slow you like to cover ground when on the road.

Decide whether you enjoy sharing your journeys (or not), and through which channel. I naturally tend towards Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and I like to vlog mostly. I've tried to share on other platforms, like YouTube or Snapchat, but I just don't get it. So, I find it hard to keep up.

I know lots of other adventurers who only share their journeys afterwards and that's cool too. There's no right or wrong way to do it, you've just got to find what feels natural.

Finally, hold true to the reasons why you started adventuring in the first place. It's very easy to get pulled off track. It's easy to be influenced by what others are doing, or what you might need to do to make more money from your adventuring, but I've always found that if you keep doing what you love and remain passionate about it, things work out far better than trying to be someone you're not.

Your audience will pick up on that immediately.

Thank you Anna!

Follow Anna's adventures in the Andes via her website or watch live accounts of her travels on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.