Gemma treks to raise funds for Breast Cancer Care

Sunday, 17th October, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Terry Ferdinand

Local girl Gemma Langlands set off to Peru to trek through the South American mountains and enjoyed a very unique adventure raising over £3,600 during the process for BREAST CANCER CARE.

Gemma trekked for five days over rough terrain, at an altitude of 15,000 ft through the Andean Mountains in Peru. The fundraising trek involved walking between eight and twelve hours a day in the remote mountains and valleys of the Lares region – culminating with the final day’s trek through the Ipsayccassa Pass at 4,500m high. Gemma told me that the trek was made more difficult by the thin atmosphere, causing initial breathing difficulties, dehydration, cold nights and a ban on open fires.

“It was a tough challenge but one that I enjoyed every minute of. We spent four days in the mountains following a trail that was well off the beaten track and we hardly met anyone other than isolated farmers tending herds of llamas and Alpacas. Throughout the four days we were privileged to catch a glimpse of Peruvian life and culture that has remained untouched for centuries.

“Each night we made camp and slept in tents and in very basic conditions, the temperatures plummeting to as low as minus 12 degrees. During the day the scenery was spectacular and amazingly diverse, and was absolutely breathtaking. After a gruelling four day trek I had a free day, so I took the opportunity to go white-water rafting down the Urubamba River, and the following day I flew out to the Amazonian Jungle and spent another 4 days walking and discovering the amazing variety of wildlife there.

“The whole trip was plagued by mishaps, an earthquake, a riot in the city and of course our baggage arriving 2 days later than we did, it was an inconvenience, but did not distract in any way from an amazing adventure of a life time. I have since heard that a group of famous women undertook a similar trek in the same region for Breast Cancer Care, and included Denise Van Outen, Fearne Cotton, Alexandra Burke and others.

“I returned back to the UK on Saturday 25th September and so far I have raised £3,609 for Breast Cancer Care and I am still collecting donations, if anyone would like to help please go to the JustGiving page.

With contributions from Gemma Langlands