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  • I got altitude sickness just two hours after landing in Cusco, Peru. Lots of others suffered from it but I and Lisa got it the worst and didn't take part in the climatisation treks.

    I couldn't even look at food and I remember feeling angry and a sense of loss that I may not be able to trek Lares and see Machu Picchu.

    But by day three - the beginning of the real trek - I was up and ready waiting in reception an hour early busting to get on the coach! The first day was exhausting. I was still on the drugs and mostly at the back but my new friends from only a couple of days suddenly became life long friends. We chatted about everything like we'd known each other for years.

    End of day three, some ate but mostly a lot cried and went to sleep....only to be woken by a lightening storm and then get saturated from the torrential rain in the middle of the night. We laid awake most of the rest of the night wet.

    Waking up on the fourth day, exhausted and wet I reached over to my pack and unfolded a soggy letter from Andy, that I'd carried all the way from home as my surprise for my 40th birthday.

    I started crying and I couldn't read it so Lyn took it off me and read it through. It was happy and loving and wishing me all the best and missing me and kissing me. i cried deep sobs and through blubs and tears told Lyn how stupid I was for even thinking this was a good idea.

    There was a tap from the porters on the tent zip and we opened it for our morning ritual of a warm flannel and a cocoa leaf tea.

    Lyn got dressed and left the tent and told me to just take my time - I dressed sulkily and missed home.

    I got out of the tent and walked over to the breakfast tent, looking at my watch as I opened the tent. Bloodyhell it's 5am!

    WHA HAYYYYYY BIRTHDAY GIRL!!! The whole tent was filled with my fellow trekkers. They sung happy birthday and had brought (and trekked) with a forty hat and cards and silly balloons and bits. Suddenly the tent door burst open and the Peruvians sang happy birthday to me too and produced two cakes made somehow on a single gas burner. It was some sort of sponge with jelly and meringue! Amazing!!

    I trekked at the front for the rest of the day just on that adrenalin of kindness and love from all those special people. A lifetime memory
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