Across The Andes By Prog (Sunday 6 November)

I should bring the Peru experience to a close.  Although by the end of this blog it will be very clear that I am not bringing it to a close at all.  What I do want to achieve with this blog is bring together some of my concluding thoughts and thank a number of people.  I had a truly wonderful time, and it would not have been possible without the following :

Lyndsay – for motivating me to go in the first place

Silvia – for being the best guide we could possibly have wished for

Silvia

Silvia

Andy – for getting me up that hill

Andy

Andy

Heather – for the infectious enthusiasm

Heather

Heather

Helena – for always caring about everyone

Helena

Helena

Katherine – for the Pringles

Katherine

Katherine

Russ – for being the perfect roommate

Russ

Russ

Sally – for the hug

Sally

Sally

and to the group as a whole for being such a supportive team

There we all are

There we all are

Debbie – for the texts waiting for me when the signal returned

The Fishtank – for helping with the choice of music

The Adventure Company – for a holiday without any problems

Hugh Thompson – for the inspiration and some knowledge

And I want to mention the following equipment because it all proved to be excellent :

Scarpa – ZG10 GTX walking boots
Berghaus – Argentium base layers, Spectrum fleece hat and gloves, Freeflow 25+5 daysac
Mountain Equipment – Fitzroy jacket, Micro Zip Tee Polartec 100 Microfleece
The North Face – Paramount Peak Convertible trousers
Paramo – Cambia boxers
Rab – Alpine 600 sleeping bag and silk liner
Leki – Makalu Sherpa XL Speedlock walking poles

I had high expectations for the holiday and it exceeded them.  Trekking at altitude was the challenge I thought it would be (and wanted it to be), but nothing could have prepared for me for the feeling of bliss as we reached 5012m.  That is a number which will remain very special to me.  Equally nothing could have prepared me for the deperate feelings I had just a couple of days later, or the feeling of elation as I conquered the adversity.  And the sense that everything came together perfectly to allow us our first view of Machu Picchu was magical.  I had thought that I would return to Peru again, maybe in a couple of years time, but that has changed.  I will be returning to Peru in May 2012.  It is true to say that Peru has captured my imagination and my heart, and Hugh Thompson’s book, Cochineal Red, has brought the festival of Qoyllur Rit’i to my attention.  I cannot resist.  A pilgrimage which includes climbing glaciers and trekking for a 24 hour period sounds perfect to me.  So I will be planning that over Christmas.

And speaking of Christmas, I have decided not to send out cards this year, and instead have made a donation through presentaid.org to provide toys for a nursery in Peru.  This is what they say about it :

“Providing toys for a nursery could help bring joy to a community in Peru.

After an earthquake hit the district of Ica in 2007, families already living in grinding poverty struggled to rebuild their lives.  Many parents have to work long hours in agro-industries, producing vegetables for export.  In an area where once there was no childcare provision, our partner organisation IEME set up nurseries to provide a safe place for their children to play, learn, make music and eat a nutritious meal.”

And with that I shall just thank you all for reading, hope that you have enjoyed sharing in my adventure, and promise to keep you updated on my Qoyllur Rit’i plans.

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2 Responses to Across The Andes By Prog (Sunday 6 November)

  1. Mike Evans says:

    James thank you very much for the very interesting account of your trip to Peru and all the best with the trip your planning next year.

  2. Helena Goldsmith says:

    Aaaahhh James – I shall miss your Peru blogs. Your writing style is amusing and funny.

    Peru captured my heart too, but it was made more special by all the people I met along the way. It was a truly magical time for me.

    My friends make my world! Remember to keep in touch I want to hear all about your next adventure…keep smiling x

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