Hinckley & Rugby Building Society’s head of risk and compliance Becki Griffin and three friends have raised more than £3,000 for the British Heart Foundation by trekking in the Peruvian mountains.
Becki and her friends Yvonne Laird, Jennifer Ellis and Caroline Andrews hiked along the Lares Trail and on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Becki, 34, and Caroline, her friend from university days, decided to tackle the challenge and Yvonne and Jennifer joined in. All four were keen to raise money for BHF’s research in memory of Caroline’s cousin Carl, who died young from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Becki, who lives in Hinckley (as does Jennifer), said: “We did a lot of training. We climbed Snowdon and walked a lot in Derbyshire and on the Dunstable Downs, getting used to each other’s pace, what our strengths and weaknesses were and what kit we should take.”
As well as preparing for the trip, the four, who paid for the trip themselves, were busy fundraising. A cake sale by Becki at Hinckley & Rugby’s head office raised more than £100 and her Ascot tea for Hinckley Ladies Circle raised another £500. Hinckley & Rugby added more money to the pot with £100.
“When we arrived in Peru we had to acclimatise as there is much less oxygen at that altitude. Then we hiked on the Lares Trail and it was fascinating how few people we saw, just the occasional person moving their llamas or alpacas amid the rough terrain.
“We walked up to 12 hours a day – but quite slowly and steadily as we got up to 4,600 meters above sea level and the lack of oxygen really does affect you. We camped at night and enjoyed amazing food cooked for us.
“Then it was onto Machu Picchu via a train which stopped for us to literally jump off beside a 400-metre valley drop. The views were amazing and there were thousands of steps to go up and down. We reached the Sun Gate, which was the main entrance to Machu Picchu, and then went down to the city.”
The four friends are reuniting at Christmas and Becki said a future fundraising challenge cannot be ruled out: “I have a feeling we might start plotting something.” Donations to the BHF can still be made at: