First Stop, South America!

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U reader Kate Kelly on her emotional trip trekking through Peru and conquering her fears… After months of planning we finally set off on our four month long adventure of the world. First stop South America. My best friend Aimee and I covered 14 countries in four short months, madness I know! But every country was amazing in its own special way. My favourite place and my proudest moment of travelling was enduring the four day Inka trail hike which led us to Machu Picchu in Peru. We set off in a group of 16 people with 22 porters and two guides. Day one was the easiest, nothing too strenuous. We reached our first campsite at 4pm and finished for the day. However an early finish meant an early start, 5am to be precise. As I am not a morning person this was tough but our porters had a lovely breakfast of pancakes and waffles made for us, yummy! Day two was probably the toughest (I did cry a good bit of the way). Most of the day was uphill, around three to four hours and I really struggled with this as I have asthma and I wasn’t the fittest. Reaching the highest point of the whole climb made this struggle worth it. The sense of achievement was surreal! It was also freezing at 4,215 metres, but there’s nothing like a good woolly hat to keep you warm! We were blessed with the weather, it helped with keeping the spirits up because no one likes walking in the rain. Day three was fun, all downhill with steps, what’s not to love? The views along the way were something else. Keeping the camera with battery was the most important goal set, after reaching the top of course. When people think of camping and hiking they think the food will be horrendous with food such as beans and bread. Well it was the opposite! I think it was the best we had on our whole trip! Three course meals every day and on day three our chef baked us a cake for doing so well. The morale and spirit of the porters and guides really helped make this trip wonderful. On our final day we got up at 3am so we could be one of the first to reach the top. The adrenaline was pumping that morning, which made the early start much easier. We reached the top at 7am and the clouds were just lifting. The view was surreal and the sense of achievement was unreal. I am not a hiking type of girl, and the only time I camped before was at Oxegen and I hated it. This is why it is my proudest moment, conquering fears and showing when you put your mind to something you can achieve it. I would highly recommend G-Adventures who we did the tour with and I hope to do it again with my Dad.