Tina and Charlotte’s Inca Trail Challenge

“We have completed this challenge to support Melanoma Focus as my dad (charlotte’s grandad) sadly passed away from melanoma in 2014 aged 76. If he had been diagnosed earlier he would probably have survived so we want to raise awareness.” 

Back in 2020 when mum Tina and daughter Charlotte reached the combined age of 90 they set themselves the challenge of completing the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, in order to raise funds for Melanoma Focus in memory of Tina’s father and Charlotte’s grandfather Tony.

Due to the pandemic these wonderful ladies have only recently been able to complete this outstanding challenge.

Tina kindly shared with us some details of her and Charlotte’s amazing challenge:

To begin with we had 2 nights in Cusco to acclimatise, this was a nice opportunity to meet everyone on the challenge, we all took part in an acclimatisation walk which was 8 miles. There were 16 of us in the group all raising money for different charities – one UK based leader and three Peruvian guides and twenty-six porters

On day one of the challenge, we set out at about 4.30 in the morning and took a bus to Ollyantambo where we joined the trail. The first day was quite long but not too bad in terms of hills, we had a cook with us who cooked all the meals, and we had great breakfast lunch and dinner each day. The porters would run on ahead and carry all the camping equipment and we carried our day rucksacks with what we needed each day and water, the first night was dry and warm and I slept well.

The second day was the big challenge, we walked 6 hours up to Dead Woman’s pass at 4200m. This was a real challenge dealing with a 6 hour climb and the altitude, but we all made it. It was important to pace ourselves stay hydrated and eat the food- a couple of snickers bars helped! The second night was torrential rain, we are not campers, so this was quite challenging, but we really enjoyed it

Day three was long , 10 miles in total with some climbs and an afternoon of descent which was hard. The trail was steep, slippy and not easy to navigate. We again experienced torrential rain that evening and had to be up 3.30am on the final morning

On day four the rain finally stopped about 5 am as we set off for the Sungate, this was a lovely 2 hour walk through the forest heading towards Machu Picchu. We arrived at the Sungate at about 8 am and there was a spectacular moment when Machu Picchu appeared through the clouds! We then walked another 40 minutes down to Machu Picchu itself and had a tour of it.

All in all, this was the most amazing thing we have done – coupled with raising money and awareness for melanoma.

My dad would have been very proud.

We would like to say a massive thank you and well done to Tina and Charlotte, their dedication is truly inspirational.

If Tina and Charlotte’s fundraising challenge  has inspired you and you would like you would like to complete your own challenge (no matter how big or small!) click here.