As we worked our way further along the Seven Lakes road, we began to see more and more patches of snow on the mountaintops. As it is summer there is not very much, but it’s been up there taunting me. We arrived at a campsite on a long beach on Lago Faulkner, surrounded by mountains. One of those was Mount Faulkner and we could see the patches of snow near the top and though it was big, it seemed to be within reach. We arrived with enough time to set up camp, have a quick snooze, and then start on the path that goes up the mountain.

It was a lot bigger than it looked! We climbed for a couple of hours, enjoying the ever more spectacular views as we got higher. Unfortunately Sophie was still not feeling one hundred percent and decided to stop and have a rest while I continued upward. Soon the scrubby bush that we’d been walking through became beautiful old forest with icy streams running through.

This disappeared nearer the top and I found myself climbing up through sand and loose rock and then… Snow! How exciting! It was only a small patch, 20m or so across, but I had a great time slipping and sliding around on it. I put some in my water bottle to show Sophie. Then even more climbing! It seemed to go on forever. I don’t think I got to the exact top, but I was close enough to be satisfied and was worried about Soph waiting for me, so I flew down the sandy rocky slopes. I had very sore knees when I got back to Sophie, and together we limped down the mountain. In pain, but very satisfied.

That night, we met our first Chileans! We had a great night around their fire, drinking wine and trying ever so hard to communicate with our broken Spanish and English. In the morning we exchanged emails, and will hopefully meet up again for some pisco when we pass through Santiago.

The next day we packed up and walked a kilometer down the road to the next lake. We discovered a free campsite there, but being quite busy we decided instead to trek along the shore for a couple kms to try and fine a nice looking river that I’d seen from up on the mountain. We found it a couple kms along and it turned out to be the most beautiful campsite, amongst the trees with green grass, a beautiful sheltered beach with the now obligatory crystal clear blue water, and mountains all around. A little way along was the river, which made me really keen to be more interested in trout fishing.

That day was Sophie and my three year anniversary, and it was the most beautiful spot to spend it.

In the morning I was feeling so good that I was able to get up for sunrise photos, for the first time in South America (not counting bus stations) and depite the scorching cold. There was mist on the lake and the first light hitting the snow capped mountain was really amazing but my fingers were so very sore from the cold.

Lago Falkner and Lago Villarino
Lago Falkner and Lago Villarino
Another two lakes on the Seven Lakes Road.