The 52km Inca trail.

Fuelled by the success of Samoa, we put the word out to collect our client’s “bucket list” trips. One that came up a couple of times was the Inca Trail in Peru. Two of our clients who wished to do this trip were diabetic, so our charity was Diabetes Research Australia. Unfortunately Dave was scheduled for an operation, and could not make it, so Debra, Sandra, Clare, and Jenny embarked on a 6-moth training regime.

The Inca trail is a 52km course at altitude, which you do not typically appreciate until you are at 4300m and have to rest every couple of steps because your chest is about to explode! The training for this trip was pretty heavy, including a two day hike into Blue Gum Forest, carrying 20kg. For Debra, who was diabetic and over 50, this was quite a special accomplishment.

In our final month of training, we trained at an altitude centre, and were screened for risk. Poor Debra was considered “high risk” of altitude sickness, with Clare and Sandra “normal” and “low risk” respectively. Jenny trained in Canada so was not part of this.

For Debra, the anxiety and uncertainty of being the oldest in the group, diabetic, and high risk of altitude, was overwhelming at times. To her credit, and despite some serious battles with her fear and inner panic, she overcame it to walk into the sungate before sunrise – a feat that we were not sure she could accomplish!

Macchu Picchu was the spectacle we all imagined. A highlight was definitely embarking on another 5-10km walk to see the Inca Bridge.

Details of this trip can be read on Clare’s Blog: