Charity Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru in aid of Cancer Research Wales.

DAY 1 - After nearly 12 months of fundraising, the day has finally arrived when I leave Llanrhystud with my bags packed, on an adventure to trek the Inca Trail to the lost city of Machu Picchu (in the Andes) Peru, in aid of Cancer Research Wales (CRW). I have never travelled so far away from home on my own before, and I had taken ages packing and repacking to make sure I had everything I needed, ensuring I was not over my weight allowance of just 20kg (including sleeping bag, walking boots and rucksack)! The kit list was comprehensive, from DEET for the bugs, factor 50 sun cream (lots of UVB at high altitude) to warm hat and gloves for the cold nights camping in the Andes jungle! Excited, and a bit nervous, I left home at 11am and drove to Rhayader where I continued my journey with David, another fundraiser, whom I had met on a training walk. By 2.30pm we were in Cardiff meeting the other 25 trekkers, strangers soon to become friends.

By 3.30pm we were on the bus that would take us to Heathrow airport. During our farewell, we were thanked by Bryn Roberts, Charity Director of CRW, and each of us received a handwritten postcard from Bryn thanking us for our fundraising efforts. Even looking at this card now (2 weeks on), makes me cry! We are all doing this for our own personal reasons; the one fundamental similarity is that by one way or another we’ve been directly affected by Cancer – and this is our way of telling Cancer to just ‘F**k Off’.

The bus sets off and our epic journey begins. First to Heathrow, where we are met by our wonderful guide Teri, a 69 year old lady from East Sussex who is an absolute inspiration. We did the usual airport tasks of checking in baggage, passport security etc and then in true Welsh fashion headed to the bar. As we all know, having a drink or two is a great way to get to know people, and before we knew it, the gate was open and we had to make a dash for the plane (about 10.30pm)! At least we weren’t bored at the airport!???? The Welsh were on tour and this once in a lifetime trip was now very real. Once on the plane, we had 11.5 hours to meander through. A bite to eat, listen to some music, watch a film, nod off a little, stretch the legs…. anything to kill the time.

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January 2019

Happy 2019 to you all, the time of year when we're making plans for the year ahead. Here at Needle Rock, I'm launching a new arm to the business with some highly desirable and unique creative upholstery pieces available for you to buy. Check out the one-off pieces on the For Sale page. With access to some of the world's most desirable designer fabrics, I am reworking both vintage and antique seating options into pieces of beauty. If you are looking for something different then give me a call at Needle Rock, I can design something just for you. I have lots of stock available ready for the magic to begin, and if you're after something we don't have - we can source it for you from our network of dealers across the UK. I'm just absolutely loving it! I could do with another me really - but the days are already getting longer, and with more daylength there's a natural rhythm of increased productivity! With the brand new website launched last year, coupled with social media campaigns - yes you are finally going to see me on Instagram, Pintrest as well as Facebook, I am hoping it will be the most enjoyable year yet!

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Gwen Evans

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