Sponsorship level: £3,400
Immerse yourself in ancient Peruvian culture trekking and exploring the remote Lares region of the Peruvian Andes on charity Peru trek.
Experience diverse scenery as we trek Peru through traditional Andean villages and along high remote mountain trails before we visit Machu Picchu, one of the worlds most important archaeological finds. For those of you with a love of landscape, a passion for history and a sense of adventure then look no further and come trek with us!
The following gives you a brief taste of the challenge ahead but for more detailed information please do not hesitate to contact one of the Overseas Team on 020 7424 5511 who will be delighted to help you!
Fly London - Lima, overnight in Lima
Fly Lima - Cusco. Time to acclimatise in Cusco
Tambo Machay acclimatisation walk
Cusco to Lares then on to Kunkani, start walking 3650m.
Kunkani to Cruzcasa on to Chacchapata, climb to 4200m
Chaccchapata up to Hatun Paso across to Yanahuara Alto, walk up to 4600m.
Yanahuara Alto trekking to Aguas Calientes and Machupicchu
Aguas Calientes - Cusco. Free afternoon
Cusco - Lima - UK
To enquire about this event please fill out the online form below and then a full information pack will be sent or you can call our Fundraising hotline on 0845 071 4350 or email email@example.com
19 April is a date I tend not to forget; it’s my wife’s birthday. This year, it featured more prominently in my mind than usual as it marked the start of my trip to Peru (a shameful admission, I admit) in order to trek and visit Machu Picchu, something I have wanted to do since I was a teenager.
I first raised the idea of a charity walk with our CSR committee early last year. It was agreed that I would raise funds in aid of the Spinal Injuries Association, which does sterling work on behalf of those with spinal cord injuries. As part of my practice includes acting for claimants who sustain such injuries, I have seen the devastating impact this can have and the tremendous difference which the SIA can make to people’s lives.
Thanks are due to all at Sintons who supported me in my fund raising efforts over the last 12 months, particularly those who purchased substantial quantities of home-made soup (spicy butternut squash being the clear favourite), my principal method of generating cash.
I met up with my fellow trekkers at Heathrow with plenty of time to get acquainted as we travelled over 6000 miles via Madrid and Lima to Cusco where our adventure began.
My travelling companions spanned all ages and came from a wide range of backgrounds, each raising funds for their chosen charity. My room/tent mate for the duration turned out to be a health and safety officer: kismet!
Cusco was the heart of the Inca empire, located over 3000 metres above sea level within the Andes mountains. The city retains traces of Incan architecture and contains many examples of how the Spaniards sought to assimilate elements of local culture in an effort to establish their rule. My particular favourite was a painting in the cathedral depicting Christ at the Last Supper with roasted guinea pig as the centre piece of the meal.
After a day’s acclimatization walk to an impressive Incan ruin set above the city called Sacsayhuaman (allegedly pronounced ‘sexy woman,’ according to our local guide) we set off on a three day trek known as the Lares trail.
The trail reaches 4600 metres in height and passes through remote areas of the Andes where the locals speak Quechua rather than Spanish, many leading a subsistence existence far removed from the trappings of the life of a solicitor from the North of England.
Perhaps unwisely, my choice of reading during rare moments of quiet was Death in the Andes by Peruvian novelist Maria Vargas Llosa. The novel deals with a troubled period in Peru’s recent past when Maoist guerrillas vied with security forces for control of the Andes region, a conflict characterized by brutality and indiscriminate violence on both sides. Aside from the political dimension, Llosa also deals with the character of the people and the region itself, reflecting on the way in which the harsh yet beautiful landscape shapes the beliefs and behaviours of its inhabitants. Lacking the word skills of a Nobel prize winner, all I can say is that the Andes left an impression on me which will take a long time to diminish.
As we reached the highest point of our trek, our guides invited us to place a cocoa leaf beneath a stone we each brought up from the valley as an offering to the spirit of the mountain. I for one had no intention of incurring the wrath of the spirits by failing to oblige!
Having survived three nights under canvas (and toileting facilities which would have even shamed the Gallowgate end at Saint James’ Park circa 1976) we approached our destination after a glorious two hour train ride through the valley of Urubamba to the town of Aguas Calientes. From there, it was a short ride up a steep, twisting road to Machu Picchu itself.
At 2400 metres above sea level set atop a granite mountain in the midst of a tropical mountain forest this ancient city of the Incas is a wonder to behold. I read Hiram Bingham’s account of his ‘discovery’ of this unique place as a 17 year old who had rarely ventured South of the Tyne. The sense of astonishment at the scale and the grandeur of the place which I felt then came back to me as I entered the site with all the force of something which I had never forgotten, merely stored away.
Little is know about the purpose of the city or the way of life of its inhabitants. Seemingly, it survived the Spanish conquest of the Incan empire because it was abandoned shortly after the invasion and swiftly overrun with vegetation. Of course, local knowledge of the ruins led to Bingham’s ‘discovery’ in 1911, bringing the site to the attention of the wider world and, by the end of the last decade, its inclusion in the list of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
All too soon, my expedition came to an end. I retain fond memories of the people I met and certainly of the place itself. Having left it 30 years before making the trip at all, I am resolved to return. This time, I will not leave it so long.