Today we get a 3am wake up call from a cockerel – or it may have been Bill’s phone. We’re not sure. Either way, when we unzip our tents we can see stars properly, for the first time on the trip.
Then we make our way to the gate, in order to queue for it opening as the sky lightens.
For the next few hours we trek along, pace quickened, along more sheer-drop paths, trying to beat sunrise to the Sun Gate. Part of the last ascent is so steep that it has to be done on hands and knees.
But it’s worth it, every step is worth it, when we reach the Sun Gate overlooking Machu Picchu as the sun rises.
We’re excited, we call home, we take a moment. So many people in the group have lost loved ones to Motor Neurone Disease. And it sinks in that we’re here, that we’ve made it.
We later take a tour of Machu Picchu, and celebrate in the town below, but the highlight of this trip is this half hour, where the sun lights the ruined town and mountains below, and we remember why we’re here.