12:21PM, Thursday 19 April 2012
A former Newlands schoolgirl will start her journey to Peru today to take part in a trek in memory of her best friend.
Emily Shimell, of Holmwood Close, Maidenhead, has been on a fundraising mission for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust since her school friend Kirsty Smith died of the disease in March 2010.
Last year Emily raised thousands climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and now she has raised more than £7,200 for the charity by trekking through the Andes.
She will fly to Madrid, to catch a plane to the Peruvian capital Lima where she will fly to Cusco.
Emily said in her blog: "The trail takes me through the sacred valley in the Peruvian Andes to the Lares region, a remote area which is rarely touched by other tourists. We are told we are very privileged to be able to spend time in the area and will meet some wonderful locals and get a real insight into Peruvian life."
The biggest challenge she will face on the trek will be altitude sickness but is looking forward to the authentic Peruvian stews. The trip will involve seven hours of trekking per day, culminating with hiking up Hatun Paso peak at 4,600m (15,000ft) on day six. The group will also put in a visit to ancient site Machu Picchu.
"Everything sounds wonderful and although its going to be really challenging, I can tell it will be one of the most rewarding things I will ever do," she added.
Visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/EmilyShimellForCF to donate.
Paramedics were called to the scene of a medical emergency in Maidenhead on Monday morning (June 27).
All lines are currently blocked between Reading and London Paddington stations due to a person being hit by a train.