[T]wo Cumbrian sisters are heading off to deepest, darkest Peru next month to raise money for Eden Valley Hospice in Carlisle in memory of their mum.
Nicola Reay and Fiona Ismay will be walking the famous Inca Trail high up in the Andes to the remote lost settlement of Machu Picchu.
And the fund-raising hike will not be a stroll in the park for the sisters, who have absolutely no experience of international trekking.
Equipped with sleeping bags and backpacks, they will camp three nights in sub-zero temperatures while covering nearly 30 miles at altitude through sub-tropical jungle and cloud forest, climbing to around 4,000 metres. That’s three times higher than Ben Nevis.
“We both enjoy walking in the Lake District with family and friends but this trip is the absolute ultimate hike. It is something we have been drawn to and now we can help other people by doing it,” said Fiona, 42, who works for Lloyd Carlisle BMW.
Nicola, 45 and co-owner of Wigton-based Reays bus and coach company, added: “The hospice means a lot to us. Our mum – Fay – was cared for there, so we know first-hand what great work they do and how much the money can help with the special care they give. The hospice is also Reays’ charity of the year for 2017.”
Having paid for the trip themselves, they will set off for Peru on May 26 – minus their Paddington Bear mascot – with the twin aim of raising more than £1,000 for the hospice and safely reaching their destination. Their guides will also ask them to hand in their mobile phones as part of a “digital detox” during the trek.
“Good luck! A very worthwhile cause. Does no mobiles mean no emails? Now that is scary!,” wrote Steve Newton, who is among the sponsors already backing them on their JustGiving page.
To sponsor Nicola and Fiona, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Reays-Coaches.