A Hampton Court gardener from Chiswick is taking part in a gruelling 12-day trek along the Inca Trail to raise money for Dogs for the Disabled.
Philip Cole, 48, needs to collect a minimum of £2,900 in sponsorship to take part in the hike to Machu Picchu in Peru, with all funds going towards the charity.
Philip, of Kingswood Road, Chiswick, said: "I thought it sounded like such an amazing opportunity, not only to visit the site but also to raise money for a very worthwhile cause."
Dogs for the Disabled organised the fundraising event, in which 29 others are taking part, and will use the cash raised to train puppies to become assistance dogs, offering confidence, companionship and independence to disabled people across the UK.
The gardener, who works in the grounds of Hampton Court as well as running his own business, Wild Thyme, will fly to Lima on September 12 and then travel to Cuzco where the group will spend three days acclimatising.
They will then spend five days trekking along the Inca trail to the pre-Columbian Inca site of Machu Picchu which is 8,000ft above sea level.
"I am already quite fit because of my profession," said Philip.
"But I will be doing some training running up and down hills as it will be very steep terrain, although the real struggle will be the altitude."
Philip was originally encouraged to do the trek by a pal who was inspired by the book, A Friend Called Henry, written by the mother of an autistic boy whose life was transformed after he got a trained golden retriever.
Philip has so far raised £600. If you would like to help him reach his target please visit: www.justgiving.com/philip-cole