Matt Cox signed up to trek to Machu Picchu and raise money for Cancer Research UK in memory of his cousin Mandi.
‘I saw the advert for the Ultra Adventures trek to Machu Picchu and I was instantly tempted to do it. After a chat with my wife over fundraising ideas I signed up that evening. I set up my JustGiving page so that I could give myself the maximum amount of time to hit the fundraising target, I was really pleased with the generous donations and encouragement I got! People I hadn’t seen in years were helping me to get to my target, which I hit just before Christmas 2018.
In January, I started training and once a week I would go for a hike with my Dad which was really nice as we’d not shared much time together in years. I also went to the gym, jogging and walking most evenings to help me prepare for the trek.
I’d never done anything like this before so I was looking forward to the Ultra Adventures challenge! After a few final sponsors from local businesses in exchange for their logo on my trek t-shirt I reached £5,000 for Cancer Research UK. I set off to meet the group at Heathrow airport for the journey to Peru.
We landed in Cusco where we spend the day taking in the local sites and getting acclimatised. The following day we took a trip to the beautiful rainbow mountain which was incredible and our first taste of the trekking altitude.
The following day we started the trek to Machu Picchu which spanned over 4 days with amazing sites every step of the way! There were some challenging steep sections, long downhill sections, bright blue lakes, snow-capped mountains and plenty of wildlife. The whole journey was stunning.
On the final day of the trek, we approached the sun gate where we were greeted by an incredible view of Machu Picchu. We arrived at the Machu Picchu site around 5pm which was perfect as there were hardly any other tourists which meant we could explore and capture amazing photos of the sunset over this incredible site. This was the best and most rewarding part of the experience. After a well needed nights sleep we returned to Machu Picchu in the morning for a full tour.
My Machu Picchu experience was truly unforgettable. I met some great people, had lots of fun, trekked an incredible distance and raised over £5,000 for Cancer Research UK in memory of my cousin Mandi. I’d like to thank everyone involved in making the experience, with a special thank you to Natalie, our medic who looked after us every step of the way.
If anyone is thinking about taking part in an Ultra Adventures trek, don’t think – just do! You won’t regret it.