Garry is a charity champ

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A COUNCIL worker has raised £1,200 for charity after the trip of a lifetime.

Garry Jones, who works for Hartlepool Council as the North and Coastal Neighbourhood Co-ordinator, has just returned from a four-day, 44-kilometre, high-altitude trek to Machu Picchu, the lost City of the Incas, which sits nearly 8,000ft above sea level in the Andes mountain range in Peru.

Following his mountain trek, he then flew by seaplane to the Amazon basin on the border of Brazil and tackled a further eight-day hike.

Garry, 52, from Bishop Cuthbert, funded the cost of the trip himself and all of the money he has raised through sponsorship is going directly to Macmillan Cancer Support.

He chose the charity in recognition of the support it provided to his family following the death from cancer of his father 20 years ago.

Garry said: “As a family, we received fantastic help from Macmillan Cancer Support and I am delighted to finally be able to go some way towards repaying them in by handing over this money. However, this is only possible due to the generosity of everyone who sponsored me and I’d like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart.”

Garry described the whole trip, both to Machu Picchu and the Amazon, as “utterly amazing” and added: “The views up in the Andes were fantastic and when I went down into the Amazon basin it reminded me of my childhood when I used to watch Tarzan films!

“I was the oldest person but also one of the fittest. Overall, my legs held up well and I didn’t suffer a single blister.”