Andes Trip Takes Liam Beyond Boundaries
By Jo Deeks on Sunday, 29th April 2007.
Eating guinea pig and almost falling over a cliff edge in the Andes mountains were just two of the hair-raising moments experienced by Liam Plumridge on a recent trip to Ecuador.
Television viewers will be able to see first hand the adventures of Liam, who was one of a group of ten people with various disablities taken on the trip of a lifetime to Ecuador for the BBC 2 programme 'Beyond Boundaries'to be shown in November.
Liam suffers from dispraxia which affects his balance and co-ordination but two of the others taking part were in wheelchairs, along with sufferers with cerebral palsy and amputees. They spent almost a month in Ecuador, being flown into the jungle in a huge Hercules army plane, then travelling by boat down the Amazon River and almost coming to grief while being given a lift on the back of a cattle truck.
Liam of Beaufort Court, Haverhill, said: "We blagged a ride on it and just avoided falling off the edge of a cliff. Our expedition leader Ken Harmes, who used to be in the SAS, screamed at us all to jump off, so we did. Luckily it did not fall over, but it could easily have done and it would have been 'Goodnight Vienna' for us all, which was a bit scary.
"We climbed up an active volcano and saw the one which was erupting as we were on the plane. It was much harder than any of us expected. Pushing a wheelchair up at 5,000 feet is no joke. It was no walk in the park, it was 7k a day in tough terrain, sometimes it was muddy and we had to use ropes to get the wheelchairs up.
"There were a lot of arguments because of the strain that was put on the group. It went from hot and humid to freezing and we had to kill a chicken to eat at one point. We had a lot of laughs and there are some people I will keep in touch with, but I would never do it again. It was really hard work and even with my disability I found I was really struggling at times, everybody did. One person had to go home after falling out of a wheelchair."
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