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Pals start training for trek on Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

By East Grinstead Courier  |  Posted: February 09, 2013

By Lewis Dean

  • Good friends Liz Harding (left) and Annie Capel, who are currently engaged in fundraising activities to help pay for their charity trek along the Inca Trail in Peru next May, which they are doing in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support. They are pictured at Liz's home in East Grinstead on Monday

  • TRAILBLAZERS: Liz Harding and Annie Capelplan plan to tackle the Inca Trail in Peru this May in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support

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TREKKING across the Inca Trail in Peru might seem a gruelling challenge, but for one fundraiser leaving her hair straighteners behind may prove more difficult.

Liz Harding will forgo a comfy bed each night as she treks 26 miles along one of the world's most famous routes from May 8.

The 49-year-old held her latest fundraising event on Tuesday at Tarana restaurant in Turners Hill in an attempt to raise £3,800 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

So far she has raised more than £2,700 with friend Annie Blackwell also securing a similar amount.

But the four-day trek will test Liz's dependence on home comforts as well as her fitness.

"It's going to be quite hard because Annie and I aren't the fittest of people. There won't be any hair straighteners either and the camping will be a new experience for me," she said.

"A couple of years ago a friend of mine mentioned doing it, but he changed his mind. It wasn't until last year when I was at a Jubilee party and might have had a couple of drinks that I said I would do it with another friend.

"It is my 50th birthday this year and I wanted to do something different for it, and another friend of mine had died of cancer."

The trip will start with a flight to Lima in Peru, where the group will convene before acclimatising to the altitude on a series of short walks.

The trek itself starts on day four at the foot of the KM82 mountains, named after its distance along the railway line between Cusco, where the trail starts, and Machu Picchu, where it finishes.

The pair will be walking up to twelve hours a day, climbing to 4,200 metres above sea level in total.

"I have been told that it isn't necessarily the walking that is the worst part but the steps. So I've been advised to walk up and down steps but so far I have only really walked along the Worth Way, which is about five miles," Liz added.

"It will be relentless but the views will be out of this world. Everyone has seen pictures of the views but I'm not sure they do it justice."

To make a donation, visit http://www.justgiving.com/liz- harding63

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