On Tuesday, April 11, a group of returning and new recruits known as the Wanderbhoys, departed Glasgow with the aim of trekking through the Andes mountain range on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, in the name of Celtic FC Foundation.
The group were led, once again, by lifelong Celtic fan and Scottish actor, Frank Gilhooley.
A four-day trek through the Andes started with an impromptu blessing in the Cathedral on the morning of arrival, before setting off on the trek the following day.
A wake-up call just after 4am and a two-hour bus to the entry checkpoint in the Sacred Valley.
A difficult introduction to the steep terrain with some intense trekking for eight hours to the first campsite at Ayapata with a 10,820 feet altitude.
An even earlier wake-up call, before 4am, led to a walk through the famously difficult Dead Woman’s Pass, at almost 14,000 feet.
Two colossal mountain passes and thousands of knee-stressing steps downwards after each pass. Some of the group walked the final two hours of jungle track in total darkness and heavy rain, completing 15 hours in total.
A later start for the group, with a 5:30am wake-up call.
A six-hour walk through the Cloud Forest followed, which offered a chance to look along the Vilcabamba mountain range and see the snowy peak of Salkantay Mountain. A very enjoyable day which boosted morale after the strains of the initial two days.
On the final day of trekking, it was the earliest start yet with a wake-up call at 3:30am. A walk through the Inca Flats lay in wait.
The group trekked all the way to the glorious Sun Gate where tears of joy were shed as their final target was in sight, at last setting eyes on the Lost City of Machu Picchu.
In anticipation of what was ahead, the group walked another two and a half hours to reach the spectacular and ancient city of Machu Picchu and the end of the Inca Trail.
An incredible total of over £22K was raised for Celtic FC Foundation through the group’s efforts and Frank Gilhooley said: “The Wanderbhoys was set up to bring people together. We are all friends forever after what we have been through. First Kilimanjaro, now Machu Picchu, raising money for Celtic FC Foundation is nothing but good.”
Ahead of Saturday’s match against St. Mirren, members of the Wanderbhoys group joined us trackside and were congratulated by the Celtic support.
Everyone at the Foundation is exceptionally grateful for and humbled by the magnificent efforts of the Wanderbhoys and the incredible total of over £22K will make a significant different to our work as we strive to challenge poverty and promote inclusion.
There’s still time to get behind the incredible efforts of the Wanderbhoys by making a donation HERE.
If you would like to set your own challenge and raise funds for Celtic FC Foundation, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact [email protected] or call 0141 551 4321.
A massive thank you goes to all the Wanderbhoys and Ghirls:
John Paul Leonard
Jon Dan Duncan