Friends complete gruelling charity trek in Peru

Benita Ogg, Sue Hellman, Paula Allan, Tracey Riches and Kim Robertson from the Beccles Breast Cancer

Benita Ogg, Sue Hellman, Paula Allan, Tracey Riches and Kim Robertson from the Beccles Breast Cancer Now group on route to Machu Picchu. - Credit: Archant

Five women from a Beccles charity group have returned from a gruelling mountain trek in Peru where they battled freezing temperatures and altitude sickness.

Benita Ogg, Sue Hellman, Paula Allan, Tracey Riches and Kim Robertson from the Beccles Breast Cancer

Benita Ogg, Sue Hellman, Paula Allan, Tracey Riches and Kim Robertson from the Beccles Breast Cancer Now group on route to Machu Picchu. - Credit: Archant

The group of friends from Beccles Breast Cancer Now trekked the Lares Valley to Machu Picchu, walking eight hours a day with a group of other charity fundraisers.

And despite spending a couple of days acclimatising to the altitude before setting off to the sacred site, the women all faced challenges along the route.

Kim Robertson, 51, who founded the group in 2011 after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, said: 'It was quite brutal and we all suffered to some extent.

'For me it felt like I was on a ship, and the other girls suffered with sickness, headaches and nosebleeds. One of the girls was really poorly the first day and had to ride a horse to help her get up the mountain. Some of us also had to go on oxygen because of the altitude.'

The group flew to Bogotá in Columbia, and then onto Lima and Cusco in Peru before starting their challenge.

They spent the nights camping in freezing temperatures which dropped as low as -7°C and were woken up at 4am each day to start their trek again.

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However they all made it to the finish line and have raised over £2,000 for Breast Cancer Now.

Mrs Robertson said: 'When you go down the Sun Gate and get the first glimpse of Machu Picchu it hits you that you are up so high and it's just incredible.

'That was a real moment for us all and we all felt a great sense of achievement.'

Beccles Breast Cancer, previously known as Breakthrough Beccles, has raised over £60,000 for the charity since fundraising began in 2011.

To sponsor visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/BecclesBreastCancerNow

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