The time has finally come for us to head for Peru!!!

Don't forget you can follow us by clicking the 'Live Updates' link above, or on Twitter for those of you that have an account!

For any last-minute donations, please visit www.justgiving.co.uk/mattandteri.

We will be revealing the winners of the Inca Football Challenge along with our fundraising Grand Total at our thank-you party in Reading on Saturday 6th June.  Everyone is invited!

This website will be updated shortly after we return, with photos and a diary of how we got on.

Thank you to everyone for all your support over the last year, and for checking our progres

We look forward to seeing you all when we get back!!!

 

So we've just a few days left before we leave for our adventure of a lifetime!

We spent the bank holiday in Bath, and walked over 30 miles during the three days.  We chose the hardest walks for our last weekend, climbing up and down Cheddar Gorge and the surrounding area.  Now we're going to spend the last couple of days calming down a bit before we leave.  We feel that we've done our best with both the fundraising and the training, and we're as ready as we'll ever be.

The last twelve months seem to have flown by, and now we're more excited and nervous about the challenge ahead than we can put into words!

 

Our BHF fleeces and kit bags arrived this week.  There were a few emails flying around from some of our co-trekkers worrying about the size of the kit bag and not being able to fit everything in, but it was pretty much what we're expecting to receive!  It makes the whole thing seem a lot more real now.

We've got one long weekend left before we go, and we will be stopping in Bath to complete three full days of hard walks, after which we'll be calming things down during our last few days in the UK.  One worry that is creeping up on us is the increasing number of confirmed cases of swine flu across the world - fingers crossed it doesn't prevent us from travelling!

 

We spent last weekend in Glastonbury where we completed some really hilly walks!  We walked near Old Wardour Castle (used in the Robin Hood film) and to Glastonbury Tor, and both were quite demanding but rewarded us with amazing views.

Our last information pack from the British Heart Foundation came through this week, with final details for meeting places and flights, so we're just waiting for our BHF fleeces and luggage bags to arrive on Friday!  We have some emergency contact details that we have put here on a new Contacts page on the website, should anyone need to contact us urgently whilst we are away.  Don't forget you can also keep up to date with how we're getting on out there by looking at the Live Updates page!

This Saturday we're only doing a short walk and then heading into London for the evening as we'll have been together for five years that day, but we'll make up for it on Sunday with another good long hilly hike!

 

On Saturday we went and bought the last bits of our equipment and clothing, including our expensive (but incredibly warm and comfy!) sleeping bags!  The Outdoor Shop in Milton Keynes kindly offered us a 25% discount on everything we bought as we are doing the trek for charity.

We completed two ten-mile walks on Sunday and Monday, and for the last few weeks we're really working on healthy eating and lots of exercise so we're in tip top condition when we leave!  This weekend we're heading to Glastonbury for another change of scenery

Our last fundraiser will be the race night we are holding on Friday 1st May at our house, just to gather together some last few pennies.  Teri's in the process of printing all the photos we've taken during our training and fundraising events, ready to make a scrapbook (surprise, surprise!).

 

We can now reveal the winners of the Pot Luck Grand National!  The race took place on Saturday and we had a perfect number of 39 entrants for the competition, and we took the last horse ourselves!  The winner was Mon Mome, owned by Carolyn Oldfield, so Carolyn has won £30.  There were two fallers at the first fence and after many slow-motion replays we came to the decision that Himalayan Trail fell first, owned by Gillian Duckworth, and Gillian has won a box of luxury chocolates.  So in the end we each had an Auntie win the prizes!!  A big thank you to everybody that took part in the competition.

On Friday there was an article about us in Teri's local newspaper, the Halstead Gazette.  There was even a mention of us on the front page  (there can't be a great deal of big news in Essex at the moment...!).  You can see a shortened version of the article by clicking on the link below.

http://www.halsteadgazette.co.uk/news/4251152.Pebmarsh__Couple_take_on_charity_trek/

We should also be making an appearance in Matt's local newspaper in the near future.

Some of you may have noticed the new 'Live Updates' page on our website.  This is so that when we are on the actual trek, we are able to text updates to our website and keep you informed on how we are getting on!  As you can see, Matt has been testing it over the last few days!

 

We have now updated the Inca Trail Trek page to include details about our flights, hotels and wake up times as well as information on health and the weather.

Thank you to everybody that pre-ordered some chocolates from Chocoholics and the girls that came to the party on Thursday.  We took over £100 of orders altogether and this meant we raised £17.34 in commission to go towards our fundraising total.  Every little helps!

One of our last fundraisers is going to be the Pot Luck Grand National. Please see our Pot Luck Grand National website, which has all the details. 

This year, Grand National Day is Saturday 4th April.  If you would like to take part in our pot luck draw, please download and complete the form below, and email it to TERI.SL@GMAIL.COM.  Everyone that enters will be given a horse that is running in the Grand National, selected by pulling names out of a hat.  There is a prize for the winner and also the first faller!

Winners of the Pot Luck Grand National and the Inca Football Challenge will be announced at a thank you party we are hoping to hold on Saturday 6th June once we have returned.  We will also reveal our Fundraising Grand Total on that date.

Next weekend we are off to Salisbury for our first full weekend of walking, approximately 10 miles each day.  It should be a good test of our current fitness levels!

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It's now less than nine weeks until we leave for Peru!

We are now less than £100 away from hitting our fundraising target, and we have a few small events left so we are really optimistic that we will reach our goal of £4,000 over the next couple of weeks.

Teri is holding a Chocoholics Party on 19th March (please see the Events Page for more details).  If you can't make the party but would like to order something from Chocoholics, please see their website www.chocolate-parties.com and let Teri know your order as soon as possible.

We are also sending out update letters to everyone later this week, along with an entry form for one of our last fundraisers, 'Pot Luck Grand National'.  More details will be shown on this website in the near future.

Our training is still going strong, and we're in the process of buying the last few bits and pieces we need for the trek.  We'll also be going for our jabs soon, which is something we're not looking forward to!

 

This week our focus has turned back to fundraising.  On Monday, Teri managed to last 7.5 hours standing in the freezing entrance to Asda with feet like blocks of ice!  It was well worth it though, as we counted up a grand total of £261.43 from the collection.  (Thank you to everyone that came to visit during their lunch breaks - it kept me going!)

Then Friday, Matt hosted his Pie & Poker Night.  A total of £95.00 was collected for the British Heart Foundation, and Derek and Matt C went home with a share of the winnings.

Another date for your diaries is Saturday 6th June, as we're thinking of hosting a Thank You Party on our return, to thank you all for your help and support over the last year.  Obviously more details will come nearer the time.

We're not too far from hitting our target now, and we have a couple of other events lined up for before we go so we should reach it easily!  Girls, it's looking as though Friday 13th March is a good date for our Girls' Night In so please keep it free and pass on the information to anyone else that might be interested.  Virgin Vie and Chocoholics are highly likely, so the perfect opportunity to get your Mothers' Day presents for the weekend after! 

If anyone else would like to sponsor us or make a donation, please visit our Justgiving website at www.justgiving.co.uk/mattandteri or contact either of us.

 

The walks this weekend were hard going, especially today in the snow, ice and general sludge!  Walking across the snowy meadows was like walking through soft, deep sand and it really saps your energy and makes your calves ache.  We described today's walk as, "You know when you go to the cinema and you think the films about to end, and it goes on for another half an hour....."

Yesterday we went to Lydiard Park in Swindon which was much more fun and we could see why the news programmes had been reporting about the snow from there this week; it was still a foot deep in most places, including a lot of the roads and pavements through the town!  Although it's only 40 minutes down the road, it really was like being in a completely different country.  We stopped on our walk for an hour or so to have a snowball fight, make snow angels and build snowman Fred II.

Matt's Pie & Poker Night is taking place on Friday, so we hope to raise a bit of extra money from that, as well as the collection at Asda tomorrow.