A DRUMLOUGH woman has successfully completed
a challenge of a lifetime in a bid to raise money for charity.
Gillian McKibben, 23, recently returned from
Peru after undertaking the Inca Trail Trek - something she
describes as being the most demanding thing she has ever had to
The well known chef at the Plough restaurant in Hillsborough
spent four days walking along the most famous trek in South
America and to date has raised in excess of £3000 for the Ulster
She was inspired to raise the money for the local charity
after seeing first hand the devastating effects cancer has.
"A close friend was diagnosed with cancer and I saw him go
through his chemotherapy and my mum's friend was diagnosed with
it and another of her good friends' passed away after a long
battle with cancer.
"It is just devastating," explained Gillian who climbed Ben
Nevis four years ago to raise funds for charity. "Ever since the
Ben Nevis Challenge I have been receiving literature on
different challenges and this one really appealed to me."
The trek certainly pushed her to the limits,
as she was climbing in temperatures over 30 degrees.
"The challenge this time included a four-day
trek covering 23 miles. It was fairly challenging and nothing
could prepare you for it. I spent several days with the team
acclimatising because the altitudes reached can be extremely
high. It also gave us a chance to see the sights of the local
"I took it at my own pace and the Peruvian
Porters who accompanied us where very helpful. It was humid and
the second day was extremely tough but thankfully there was a
breeze towards the end of the trek." Gillian said that the
sights along the trek were amazing. The beautiful mountain
scenery, lush cloud-forest, subtropical jungle and Inca paving
stones, ruins and tunnels were stunning.
"The final destination of the trail just
cannot be beaten. The sights at Machu Picchu, the mysterious
'Lost City of the Incas' was incredible. The photos taken really
don't justify it. It was a worthwhile experience and I made some
really good friends."
Gillian would like to thank everyone who has
supported her and donated generously.
Anyone who would like to make a donation can
call Gillian on 07711989930.