These boots are made for trekking…

Boots-picIt is every trekker’s worst nightmare. You’ve prepared for an adventure, endured the blisters of breaking in your trekking boots and packed your spare laces, then halfway through your trek your boots decide they’ve had enough… Before you take off, it’s essential to look for signs that your trusted trekking boots may not be up for the journey.


With this simple guide your feet will stay snug and comfortable, so you can focus on enjoying your adventure of a lifetime.

First and foremost, you must check all the seams, stitching and shoelace eyelets of your boots for excessive wear and tear. If your boots are buckling under the strain of training, it is likely they will not stand up to your adventure. Next, inspect the area where the sole bonds to the upper material. If you can see gaps or places where the glue has started to deteriorate, you must have this professionally mended or face having soggy feet for the majority of your adventure.

Whether you’ve had your boots for 10 years or 10 minutes, how you care for them primarily determines how well they will hold up as you take on the world. So how can you extend the life of your boots? Chris Mein from Paddy Pallin shares his best tips:

  1. Keep them clean Clean your boots thoroughly after every trek. Dirt and grime that settle in the material can act as abrasives. Chemicals in soil, such as fertilisers and salt, can also pose a serious threat to the rubber, glue and leather of your boots.
  2. Keep them dry When drying your trekking boots, avoid extreme heat. Instead of drying your boots next to a fire or a heater, stuff them with newspaper and let them air dry. When storing your boots, ensure they are in a dry place, away from direct sunlight.
  3. Keep them Conditioned Boot conditioners work a treat on full grain leather boots. Apply the conditioner after a long trek and before setting off on a new adventure.

Don’t forget, as an Inspired Adventurer, you receive a 15% discount at Paddy Pallin when you have your boots professionally fitted by one of their footwear staff.

Day 9 – Will the real Machu Picchu please stand up?

DAY 9: Black Dog Institute Peru Challenge 2012

It was no trouble waking people up this morning. After all, we were headed to Machu Picchu – the culmination of this amazing adventure! It started with a death-defying bus ride up once again deep into the Andes. After all, Machu Picchu is the lost city of the Incas and as such, it really had to be “found!”

Unlike the rest of our Inspired Adventure, this UNESCO World Heritage site was understandably teeming with people from every corner of the globe! Still, we managed to make our way slowly to the first spot where Machu Picchu can be seen. Our guide Jamie had us close our eyes and holds hands from just behind a tree, leading us slowly out to the platform then pronouncing “open your eyes and together, see the incredible Machu Picchu!”

It was, genuinely and truly, one of the most amazing sites any of this group had ever seen. Perched magnificently at the base of a mountain, the structures move outward in a circular fashion, seemingly propped up by terraced fields carved into the side of the hilltop that cascade deep into the valley below. To think the structures were constructed some 600 years ago is simply inspiring.

After ogling and dodging other tourists for an hour or so, we continued our exploration of the site before climbing to the summit of Huayna Picchu (that giant huge tall massive mountain behind the site itself). Steps, steps, and more steps led us 400 metres up to sweeping views across the entire region, a genuine birds-eye view of one of the seven new world wonders. Simply marvellous.

After that three-hour hike we were understandably exhausted and headed back to Aguas Calientes for lunch before boarding our train then bus back to Cusco, finally reaching our hotel a little after 9pm. My, what a day!

Now it’s time for a little shopping, a little eating, and a whole lot of celebrating before our big return to the land down under!

For the very last time, GO TEAM!

Kyle Taylor
Inspired Adventures Team Escort

One final thanks to LJ (pictured below) for her ridiculous poses throughout the trip. What would we have done without you?!?!

More from the Black Dog Institute Peru Challenge 2012

Read more trip stories from Peru or visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar and find a Charity Challenge perfect for you.

Day 7 – It’s About The People

BLOG 6: Black Dog Institute Peru Challenge 2012 

We awoke today to brilliant sunshine that felt like it was warming you from the inside out! Just like the past few mornings, the local women and children had set up a mini market just outside our tents. Selling everything from gloves and hats to bottled water, they have been our first point of contact in getting to know the people of Peru’s ancient highlands.

It has been a fantastic experience sharing smiles (and sweets) with kids, a few passing words in the local Quechua language with the mums and dads, and a laugh here and there with our guides and incredible support team.

If anything, this human element has definitely made the intense trekking just that little bit easier. Today we trekked for eight and a half hours, starting with a major ascent to over 4,500 metres at the peak of the mountain pass. The higher we went, the brilliant sunshine and the heat that came with it slowly became biting winds before turning into, yet again, heavy rain.

For good reason, spirits were high today. We are just two days from Machu Picchu, the crowning achievement of our epic trekking effort. In addition, that “family” feel has started to emerge. As I write, the sounds of laughter a billowing from the mess tent as the team take each other on in a rousing game of UNO.

Today we offered stones to the Inca gods for safe passage to our next top, building a pebble tower at the top of the pass. We referenced what are now countless inside jokes, poking fun at each other in ways that only family and close friends can. Above all else, we gave each other nicknames, perhaps the greatest notion of “mateship” in Australian culture. We have:

Matt – GI Joe/Commando
Abel – Aarki
Nick – Doc, from Back to the Future
Rory – Roro
Nikki – Cafe con Leche
Lizzy – Sultana
L.J. – Barbie
Emma – Moving Forward
Naomi – No Money
Emma – Lovely
Shazza – Mamasita
Geraldine – G Money
Kyle – Kiki

It’s dinner time yet again, which means we are two sleeps away from Machu Picchu! Where are we sleeping tonight? Oh, just in the shadows of Incan Ruins. No big deal

Go team!

Inspired Adventures Tour Escort

P.S. Stack of the day goes to Geraldine, who somehow managed to collapse her chair at lunch in slow motion, slowly sliding lower and lower until she was flat on the ground. It almost defied gravity. Well done G-Money!


More from the Black Dog Institute Peru Challenge 2012

Read more trip stories from Peru or visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar and find a Charity Challenge perfect for you.