Last Great Unclimbed Mountains

Laguna Santa Rosa

As several people have reminded me, I owe you all an update!  As you might have guessed, we’re back down in Copiapo, much earlier than we had hoped.  Here’s the story.

We met Caio, our professional photographer (and all-round awesome guy) and headed back to the mountains.  Our plan was to stay in a hut by a lake (Laguna Santa Rosa) for two days so he could acclimatise to 3800 metres, before pushing him higher.  It was cold while we were there, and so we went for a few walks.  Below are some of Caio’s photos during those days.  The place was beautiful, and his photos capture it perfectly.  The lake was full of flamingos, and the days were cold but clear.

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Caio and I went for lots of walks to take photos and enjoy stretching our legs.  I became ‘the hiker’ in his beautiful photographs.  The first one is the photographer himself, taken by me

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Caio and I walked around the entire lake one day, and were close back to the hut when we realised there was a stream we had to cross.

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There was no way we were retracing our steps…so we decided to jump.  I will try to upload the video somehow (it’s on facebook).  Suffice to say that both of us landed in the thick, black mud of the lake, with both feet.  It was hilarious – check out Caio’s little wobble, before he even jumps.  So funny!  (although my boots then froze and only defrosted several days later).

Max found loads of flint chippings, which, given that flint is not found locally, lead us to believe that Incas were making arrow heads in the vicinity.  This was later confirmed by some locals who came to the hut.

In honour of our visitors, we had a little party:

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We were waiting for a mechanic friend from Brazil to arrive with his car.  He got stuck at the Argentinian border as they closed the road (despite no real snow and only moderate winds) and were really making life hard for us.  We had to stay an extra day at the hut, and just as we were packed and ready to leave for the border….the car broke down.  The battery was flat.  I ran to find a nice German couple who had arrived to see the lake, and they lent us their car and some jump leads:

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and we were off.  We drove to the border, met up with Jiovani and his car, and headed to the mountains.

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More about the drive in the next post!