Machu Picchu 2013

January 3, 2013 § 2 Comments

On the way up Kilimanjaro

On the way up Kilimanjaro

As many of you may (or may not) remember, in August 2012 I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for charity. Now, I’ve decided to take on a new challenge, once again for charity, and trek the Machu Picchu trail in Peru this August.

Everyone has asked me about what it was like to climb Kilimanjaro and when I describe it (as my fellow climbers also do) as ‘incredibly difficult’and the ‘best and worst experience of my life’ they seem to think I’m a little insane to be undertaking another extremely physical challenge.

And I can see their point. The final few hours of my ascent to Gilmans Point are not something I’ve any intention to repeat. Ever. And I’d be quite happy never coming close to Kili again in my lifetime.

In spite of that, there was next to no hesitation in my decision to take on Machu Picchu. Why? The noble thing, of course, would be to say that I want to help out Dig Deep – the charity we’ll be climbing for. Of course that is the case – knowing that from last year’s fundraising efforts we helped provide clean water to 7,000 people in Kenya is huge motivation for this new challenge.

But the main factor the made me think ‘I have to do this’ is because I made some amazing, life-long friends on my journey to the ‘Roof of Africa’. Months after returning from Africa we are in constant contact, meeting up regularly for parties, dinner, pub quizzes or just to say ‘hi’. And many of these people are also coming to Machu Picchu – it feels a bit like a family reunion. How could I say no to that?

And on an even more selfish level, heading to Peru and trekking the Inca Trail means ticking off another box on my ‘bucket list’ (visit Machu Picchu) and helps me to complete another (visit all continents by the time I’m 30). I believe that these sorts of opportunities don’t come along every day and when they do you’ve got to grasp them, hold tight and fight to make the most of them. So that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m under no illusions this is going to be easy. Raising nearly£3,000 individually is a tough ask – but with some fantastic group events already having take place, including the fantastic Jazz Night we put on in early December, others in the pipeline (‘Spring Fling’) and still more at the ideas stage, I’m sure it will all work out. And the physical side of things? Well, this time around I will be learning from my mistakes and training hard. As our tour operator pointed out, London is the best place to train for this – thanks to the Tube and its many, many stairs (Covent Garden station springs to mind).

So, if anyone wants to help contribute to my cause, check out my online giving page (where’ll you find out more information about what our fundraised money did last year, and more on the upcoming trip) – and feel free to make a donation. Not only will you be helping me, you’ll truly be making a difference to the lives of many people in Africa. Doing something for charity and feeling totally good about it – the best post-Christmas present you can give yourself this year (though the new iPhone 5 or iPad mini runs a close second).

Thank you in advance for your support, help and donations x

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