Was I excited? Yes. Did I feel prepared? No. Was I nervous? Totally.
Five flights, 22 hours of travelling, and all before I even started the Inca Trail.
There was the looming aspect of altitude, I had no idea how this was going to affect me and our highest point was at the top of Dead Woman’s Pass at 4200m.
So, ahead of me lay four days of trekking along the famous Inca Trail in Peru, with our final destination being the spectacular ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. It didn’t sound that tough. I go trekking all the time. Surely it wouldn’t be that much of a challenge…… WRONG.
The altitude at which we were walking was seriously draining. At one point each step became a struggle, requiring a sit down afterwards. It was the strangest feeling.
The mental strength needed to just keep going pushed me to places that I had never been before.
My poor knees were screaming, my lungs were calling out for air, but the unity of the group of which I was a part enabled us all to support each other through the struggle, and allowed us to actually take in and enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever laid eyes on. There were inevitably plenty of photo stops, which also gave us the opportunity to search for and draw in some much needed oxygen.
What a journey it was. We laughed, we cried, we supported each both physically and emotionally. Some of us trekked in the dark due to injury or to support our fellow trekkers and for all of us there was a real sense of being far from any form of help and home. But was it all worth it? Absolutely. Machu Picchu is utterly breathtaking and, when reached following a challenge that tests your resolve to its limit and when shared with a group of very special friends, it’s even more special.
I flew out knowing nobody, I’ve come back with friends and memories for a lifetime. I am a changed person thanks to a journey that I will never forget and, most importantly of all, I’ve helped to raise not only funds but also awareness of this amazing charity.
Philippa has so far successfully raised over £5,000 for the Charity.
If you would like to show Philippa your support or a message of congratulations please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Pips-Reece