I cant believe it has been almost eight weeks since i left Dublin for Peru, as part of The Trek4life Campaign in aid of The Irish Cancer Society.
It has always been my dream to travel and experience the world, but unfortunately life has always distracted me from making my wanderlust dreams a reality. Yes i have seen places like Spain to Holland, and a couple of other gorgeous European destinations but never anywhere as far as South America. The truth is that i was graced with the trip of a lifetime all because i said yes to doing some charity work, not that anyone needs a reward for taking part in charity work because the real reward is an internal sense of well-being. Actually it is something i highly recommend getting involved in whether fundraising or volunteering, it is amazing for the mind, soul and also a great way to meet new people and socialize.
The Trek4life campaign is an incentive to take on physical challenges in the fight against cancer, so as you can imagine i was totally game when The Irish Cancer Society approached me to be the face of their 2015 campaign. This collaboration wasn’t as easy as just taking a couple of photographs for the papers, it meant climbing one of the most renowned mountains in the world Machu Picchu. It was very simple really, fundraise, promote, prepare and take on the challenge. I will be writing a full post here on kellydonegan.com for anyone interested in taking part in future Trek4life challenges and don’t know how to go about fundraising.
After nine months of excitement, organised treks and a fundraising event that exceeded all of my expectations it was time to fly to Peru. Like all things in life you only learn by making mistakes and i made two massive ones before i had even left the country, number one i left packing my bag until the night before and number two i stayed out really late the night before. Taking both of those into consideration i still some how found myself at Dublin airport at 4am on the 23rd of September ready to meet my team and make our way to South America. Not only was this going to be my first long haul but also my first solo trip without the support of any friends or family.
Day 1 – Fly Dublin to Paris, then Paris to Lima, Peru. Almost one full day of travelling followed by a quick night stay in Lima City before our short transfer to Cusco.
Day 2 – Early morning wake up in Lima. Back to Lima Airport for our short flight to Cusco, roughly an hour and a half . After almost two days of travelling with huge rucksacks the entire group were so thrilled to finally arrive in the stunning city of Cusco. Arriving in the city before lunch time was a real treat after so long on planes and in airports, and we were welcomed with the most sensational views from architecture, Peruvian culture, surprisingly rainy weather and altitude of 3400m. Our afternoon was spent in our adorable hotel, exploring the city and of course tasting some local cuisine. All i can say is be prepared for every weather and stick with the burger not the guinea pig.
Below you can see the crew making their way up to our hotel straight after our flight, we were all happy to get those rucksacks off our back and put our feet up in the hotel.
After a well deserved rest i took myself and my camera out for some exploration and fun. I was totally blown away at the vibrant colours through out Cusco along with the strange hybrid design from elaborate Spanish architecture to rustic peruvian buildings. A bustling city with parades and music, and just as many dogs as people (not that i was complaining of course) Of course i took advantage of some photo ops, check them out below.
Part two of The Peruvian Travels will be up this week, including the first day of hiking and our first night camping. From a crazy mountain bus journey, more dogs, to our first steep climb and the coldest night sleep of my entire life. Don’t worry i lived to tell the tail and encourage others to try it. Also enjoy the glamorous travel photos for now people, little did i know how challenging this trip was going get.
Also i will be posting after this entire series an essential packing guide for the up and coming international hikers, a long with a post with fundraising ideas and tips.
Why not climb Machu Picchu or join me in taking on Kilimanjaro in 2016. For more information on the Trek4life campaign with The Irish Cancer Society follow the link below
or call the wonderful Kate here 01-2316609
Thanks for reading
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