The following morning we drove straight to the Chilean border, 70km from our hut. We could see that they had had quite some snow over the preceding months, and the officials there confirmed that the San Francisco pass had been closed nearly every day for the last 6 months. The Chilean officials were friendly, and our crossing was much easier, although they did find my lovely raisins from the farm near Chilecito and confiscated them
From there, we headed off-road and into the desert, finding a beautiful waterfall on the way.
You’ll get used to the llama appearing in photos I’m trying to take from the back seat of the car. This is Conway driving up a river. When asked whether there was a story behind the slightly irritating llama swinging from the rear view mirror, Pedro’s reply was ‘It’s a llama. I like him’. Ok…
We passed high altitude lakes filled with minerals, complete with flamingos and even found some Incan ruins on the shores. We were surrounded by the mountains we had spent months looking at on google earth.
We made a great camp on the shores of a beautiful (and extremely remote) lake, and settled down for the night.
The cliffs just above our tents must have thousands of trad routes, as well as bouldering galore.