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This summer, we will leave on an expedition to locate an elusive Inca Trail through the Llanganates Park in the Andes of Ecuador, following in the footsteps of Isabela Brooks, circa 1920.

In a land so harsh people are rarely seen, a female team will attempt to track down Valverde’s trail and follow it through this wild and unexplored region of the Andes. This area is highly difficult to reach and is traversed only by foot as there are a large number of rivers, emptying out the Andes, making it difficult to cross.

There is a 500-year-old map with a dotted line and an X that marks the spot of King Atahualpa’s hidden gold ransom, but the team is interested in the tough trail that apparently leads to the treasure. The terrain is swampy, with mountainous jungle, there are no modern maps and the land is uninhabitable and very inhospitable. Wildlife includes puma, wolves and the spectacled, or Andean, bear.

Money raised will be used to pay for flights, kit, accommodation and porters.

We leave in mid August and return towards the end of September.

Any support you can give will help me to be a part of this amazing expedition that will highlight female explorers of the past, present and future, who are hugely and woefully overlooked. Its a real #thisgirlcan adventure (apart from the fact that we’re not girls at all but middle-aged women)

 - Becky Condron

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