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Winter Gems of Southern Chile
We were on our way through the Conguillío National Park, located in the Araucanía Region of Chile, when our progress was halted by a washed out road. Rather than simply turn around and home, we decided to park the car and take a snowy hike. Lucky for us the snowpack was solid and the morning rains had stopped. We followed the Sendero a Sierra Nevado that wrapped itself along the Lago Conguillío. The forest was quiet, sounds muted by the heavy snow, all with the exception of the occasional echoing bang of a Magellanic woodpecker hammering a hollow coigue. When we reached to crest of the mountain ridge, the winds whipped at my hair and made a rushing noise through the tall araucaria surrounding us. Volcano Llaima sat impressively to our left, but I could not take my eyes from this gorgeous spot where the creeks were feeding the lake. What a magic gem to find on a cold winter's day in July!