A HEAD TEACHER has told how she braved Dead Woman's Pass and sheer drops on a charity adventure.
Tina Blackaby, head at Crosland Moor Junior School, was one of the 60 people taking part in a trek in aid of Action Medical Research.
She raised £3,000 for the charity and spent a week in Peru, four days walking the trail.
The trek caught the imagination of her pupils when she told them about the conditions she faced in the Andes.
They learned a lot of facts about the South American country in special assemblies before she set out on the big adventure.
"Not only was it a wonderful experience for me but it was a great learning experience for the children," she said.
Although she trained hard for the trip she said walking at such high altitudes was a real challenge.
"The top of Dead Woman's Pass is 4,400 metres high and there was a danger of suffering from altitude sickness. But luckily I was OK," she said.
Much of a trek is stepped - there are 9,900 of them - and some of the paths were very narrow with sheer drops. She said at points the walk was in fact a "terrifying" crawl.
"On the last day my expectations were really high, because I had read about Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca fortress, and seen pictures of it.
"But nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.
"When we got to the top we stood on a plateau and looked down and it was breathtaking.
"There was no sound, everybody just stood around in awe," she said.
On another level, sleeping in a tent and not being able to have a bath or shower for four days was a challenge in itself.
She explained her adventure to pupils at the school on her return.
"She said there was no toilet and she couldn't take her makeup or her red lippy!," said Aaron Kay, aged 11.
He said he had learned all sorts about the country and its people.
Naomi Buckle, 10, said: "She told about the different clothes the people wore and about beads on their outfits and we made some necklaces.
"And she showed us pictures of wooden houses."