A 72-year-old former nurse has successfully tackled Peru’s Inca Trail, raising more than £5,000 for a local cancer charity.

Liz Madden, of Bailey Hills Road, Bingley, has returned from her South American adventure, in which a team of 17 fundraisers from Bradford and Cardiff raised £160,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Mrs Madden, who was the oldest team member by almost ten years, described the epic 26 mile trek to reach Machu Picchu, the mysterious lost city of the Incas, as a “lifetime’s experience in just ten days.”

“It was beyond anything I’ve ever done, or will do again,” she said. “To be looking down on Machu Picchu was almost unreal, I can’t really put it into words.

“I admit I got a bit teary-eyed when I thought of my son and my mum, as I knew they would have been proud of me. It was such a relief to get to the end.”

Mrs Madden, who was a district nurse across Bradford for 25 years, working in Eccleshill, Baildon and Barkerend, has supported and collected for Marie Curie for many years, as her mother, Ruby Wood, received care in a Marie Curie hospice on three separate occasions.

The trek was her first major fundraising challenge, and while scaling peaks such as the 4200m ‘Dead Woman’s Pass,’ she said she was thankful to everyone who had kept her going with both moral and financial support.

“I’d like to thank everyone who supported me in any way,” she said.

“The thought that people back home were thinking of me and praying for me really helped, and I got so much from pushing myself to the limit.

“Just getting to the end of the trek was a real achievement, but I didn’t think I would hit my fundraising target (£4,000), so to beat it is amazing.”

Donations to Marie Curie can still be made via Mrs Madden’s Just Giving sponsorship page at www.justgiving.com/liz-madden42.