We woke up at 3:30 am the final day to finish the trail and be one of the first people at the site, ready and waiting for the sun to rise.  Now, getting up at 3:30 really isn’t my idea of a good time, but it had already been 3 days without a shower or a change of pants, so I was kinda over it.  I just brushed my teeth, put a hat on, did a quick clean with some baby wipes and went on my way.  There were a few girls at another campsite that were applying their makeup – at 3:30 am!!!  Totally nuts, if you ask me.  In any case, we rose, got ready as quickly as possible and headed for the entrance.  We were quite near the front of the line, so when the gates opened at 5, we were running to finish the final 2 hours to the Sun Gate.  It was totally like the Amazing Race, and we finished in only 1 hour and 2 minutes!  Here is a picture of our group at the Sun Gate, just before sunrise:

The best thing about the Inca Trail is it is the only trail with an access point that will take you to the Sun Gate, where as the sun rises and sweeps the mist away, you have the most incredibly stunning view of Machu Picchu from a distance.  Theoretically.  Sadly, in our case, the mist never really cleared, but at one point it thinned enough to get a quick glimpse of what was to come:

 

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