|High Altitude, Lightning Storm and Torrential Rain|
We talk to Chiswick's Philip Cole about his fundraising trek along Inca Trail
Chiswick resident Philip Cole has just returned from a fundraising trek in Peru for which he raised over £85,000 for Dogs for the Disabled.
He told ChiswickW4.com, "Four days difficult trekking on the Inca Trail (26 miles) in Peru at over 4,200 metres was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. We reached Machu Picchu after four days climbing in thin air which made breathing noticeably difficult.
"Each day started with a wake up call at 4.45am with breakfast at 5.30am and we were usually off walking by 6.30am - not arriving into camp for the following night until about 6pm. The second night we arrived just before the most spectacular (and loud) thunder and lightning storm and torrential rain. We were worried that we might get struck by lightning or swept away by a landslide...but I'm talking to you now so clearly this didn´t happen!"
Philip continued, "Machu Picchu was fantastic and everything I had expected it to be except that it was much, much bigger and took ages to explore. While we were there someone collapsed with the strain of the altitude and was stretchered off!
"That night we stayed at a place called Aguas Calientes (Hot Baths). This is very much like an old frontier town as there is no road to it - just a railroad through the town. Back then on a wonderful train ride back to Cusco through the Sacred Valley.
"After the trek I was able to grab a day or two of holiday (the trek was certainly not a holiday!) and took a 10 hour train ride to Puno from where I visited Lake Titicaca and the floating Uros Islands.
"I'm delighted to report that we raised over £85,000 for Dogs for the Disabled. If you would like to add to this please sponsor me at http://www.justgiving.com/philip-cole".
September 29, 2009