Our Production Manager James Harwood is back from his trek up Machu Picchu, and he’s (almost) lost for words.
You may be aware that in late September, Jim and 13 other members of our #Tour21 team rode 210 miles between our London and Cheshire offices to raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity. It was a perfect way to celebrate our 21st birthday and support an important cause, but that wasn’t enough for Jim.
As the fundraising icing on the cake, a few weeks later Jim flew to South America to attempt the Inca Trail. Given that it was only 320 days since his second brain surgery, this task might have seemed daring, but not surprising if you know Jim well.
Jim shares some thoughts with us here about his 2,430m trek up Machu Picchu:
“The trip started out great! It was a 10-hour flight to Colombia, a country in tough times and with even tougher airport security. If you like labradors this is the airport for you.
However, if you like smuggling goods of a certain nature*, this is definitely not the airport for you. I’m not overly enamoured about either, so I was looking forward to the flight out of El Dorado International Airport. Yes, that’s what it’s really called. But unfortunately, there was a 9-hour delay.
Fast forward 3 days and I was finally on the Inca Trail with 29 strangers, pretty much all of whom were hiking to raise money for numerous charities.
Day 1 was “flat”. Well, we quickly came to realise that when a Peruvian says “flat” and “We’re just half an hour away from lunch” they’re not quite telling you the full story. It’s either that or their clocks and altimeters don’t work.
We camped at 2,400m (over twice the height of Snowdon) and the facilities were unbelievable. We had a 3-course meal, a beer or two and saw the Milky Way in all of its glory. It was a pretty magical evening.
Day 2 was the most difficult day according to the guides. We left at 6am and walked for 7 hours to the lunch break, 400m off the summit of Dead Woman’s Pass. Named so, not because a woman died there, but because the mountains look like a naked woman lying down. You’ve got to look pretty hard to see it, but I guess they didn’t have the Internet 500 years ago, so imagination was key.
Drama struck at 3800m when I got hit by altitude sickness pretty hard. It became apparent that I couldn’t carry on and risk any potential health problems. I was of course gutted, but I tried my hardest and it was just out of my hands. It was quite an emotional afternoon and the rest of the team were so supportive.
Luckily, I still got to meet up with the group on Day 4 at Machu Picchu and all I could say was “Wow!” It’s the first Wonder of the World I’ve seen and I’m not sure if anything else will be able to measure up to it.
I just want to thank everyone at Parker Design, especially Andi, for being so supportive and for committing a lot of time and money in helping me raise money for the charity.
Anyway, enough of that. Just watch the little video I put together. Thanks!
Jim and the Tour21 team raised £14,557.00 for The Brain Tumour Charity. Congratulations to all – it’s an amazing achievement.
(*Neither Jim, nor the rest of the Parker Design team, condone any kind of smuggling. Thought we should get that in there!)