Catherine has her head in the clouds

Old girl Catherine Bates (left) being presented with a �100 cheque towards her Peru trek by Morpeth's KEVI School Head Girl Flossie Hunt.
Old girl Catherine Bates (left) being presented with a �100 cheque towards her Peru trek by Morpeth's KEVI School Head Girl Flossie Hunt.

AN adventure of a lifetime up in the clouds awaits a university student from Rothbury.

Catherine Bates is going on an eight-day trek to and from Machu Picchu, which is more than 2,000m above sea level, in aid of Childreach International.

She became interested in the trip to see the fabled Lost City of the Incas in Peru after speaking to representatives from the organisation at a university fair stand last September and it did not take long for her to sign up.

The 21-year-old, back at the family home in Hepple for Easter, said: “After getting the details for the trek, I spoke to a few of my friends who had done it in the past or other expeditions such as Mount Kilimanjaro.

“They all said how amazing it was, so I decided that I couldn’t miss out on a fantastic experience.

“The place looks very beautiful and although it’s going to be a tough challenge, it’s one that I believe I can complete. I’m also looking forward to experiencing a different culture and meeting some new people.”

Catherine, who used to attend King Edward VI School, will be joined by 38 others for the trek that covers some attractive mountainous territory in the Peruvian Andes. The stone walls, terraces and ramps in Machu Picchu, created by the Inca Empire at its height, are of major architectural and archaeological importance.

The fourth-year Food Studies and Nutrition student at the University of Leeds has an individual fund-raising target of around £2,000 and her old school has given her some help.

A total of £250 has been donated by the governors and £100 was handed over by the school council made up of KEVI pupils.

“I’m very grateful to the governors and students for their support and I’m doing some fund-raising events and activities to help reach my target,” she added.

“These include cake sales and a ceilidh in Hepple Village Hall on Saturday, April 14, featuring The Coquet Collective. My old middle school, Dr Thomlinson, will be holding a non-uniform day as well.

“I’ve been building up my fitness by going on treks at the Lake District and I will be climbing up Simonside Hills with my mum, who is doing the Edinburgh MoonWalk marathon in June to raise money for breast cancer research and care.”

Before the trek, Catherine will get a few days to explore other parts of Peru, including the capital city of Lima.

Tickets for the ceilidh, which starts at 7pm, cost £7. For more information, telephone 01669 640231 or email

Childreach International supports children in developing countries to help improve their access to education, healthcare, human rights and protection.

To make a donation, visit