2nd Report from Argentina-Chile

Tuesday morning, we all came down to breakfast by 9:00am. Many of us made fried eggs for breakfast, we had freshly baked bread, and raspberry and nut “kuchen” which is a german cake/tart.  After breakfast, we made ourselves sandwiches to bring with us on the hike. We filled up our water bottles before getting in the cars.

Half an hour later we arrived at the National Park (after of course many pictures of the beautiful view along the way). We grabbed our gear and began our trip up the Sierra Nevada trail which is a 14km out and back hike. Some of us hurried excitedly up the trail while others wandered behind in awe at the environment. The trail was surrounded with vegetation similar to both the jungle and the forests of Dublin with lizards that would scamper across the trails in front of our feet. We learned about a foreign tree that grows only in Chile called the Araucaria. About halfway up the trail was an overlook of a beautiful lake that had crystal blue water and made you want to stare at it forever. We continued up the trail and discovered the trail narrowing to the side of a cliff. We carefully ventured across while gazing at the towering mountains next to us and listening to the glacier waterfalls in the distance.  

Eventually (a whole three hours later) we made it to the top and ate lunch gazing at the magnificent view, wishing we could stay there forever. Reluctantly we headed back down after refilling our water bottles with crystal clear and clean glacier water. The walk back went much quicker than the walk up taking only an hour and a half.

Once we got down, we went to the perfect blue lake and excitedly walked in the chilly water and on the lava sand beach as we looked up at the volcano and the mountains we just explored. We made it back to the house tired and hungry. We played some rounds of Uno before we had an amazing dinner of steak, corn, rice, potato salad, and bread.   We also tried the nuts from the Araucaria tree we collected on the hike.  They are similar to chestnuts.

After that, we cleaned up and collapsed into bed tired from the adventure that the day had brought. It was a very hard hike and was less enjoyable during the hike but reflecting back I’m very glad I did it and would have been disappointed if I had missed the experience.