So tomorrow we set out for Machu Picchu. We had our ‘briefing’ this morning with the people organising the trek for us. It was good to meet Alex, who will be our guide, but we didn’t come away entirely reassured about the whole thing.

The cathedral in Cusco's main square

The cathedral in Cusco’s main square

We’re nervous on a number of levels. First is that it’s a serious walk under any circumstances, but for eight- and ten-year-olds it is a big undertaking. The length of the walk is not such an issue; it’s both the absolute altitude and the fact that we will be going up and down all the way. I’m also a bit leery of the fact that some of the path is on narrow ledges which doesn’t play well with my fear of heights.

Second, is that, because we’re doing this as part of such a bigger trip, we’ve compromised on some of the recommended equipment – we think we’ll be OK but it’s very dependent upon the weather. And the weather is the third issue, it’s raining and that adds a significant degree of angst to the first two issues.

It would have been nice if our meeting with the organisers this morning had left us all confident and reassured that they were on top of everything. That wasn’t quite the case. It was difficult to get straight answers to a few of our questions. They treated the ‘news’ that we needed to hire sleeping bags like it was all new to them in spite of the numerous exchanges of emails we’d had on the subject. Nothing disastrous, but a little more of a feeling that they were on top of everything would have been nice.

And in addition to the trail itself we have to deal with five days without computers or internet – and none of us can remember the last time that’s happened!

So there are some nerves over here. I sincerely hope I’m just, as usual, over-thinking things. But anyway, we set out at 6am tomorrow and should be back here in Cusco late on Saturday night. Will let you know then.