Termas El Plomo

 
On the Saturday following the second week of classes, the school had organized an excursion into the same canyon that Karen and I had visited last week. This time, however, they would be following a different fork that feeds into the Rio Maipo. The description of the road, which follows the Rio Yeso, convinced us that we should probably leave the bikes behind. In retrospect, we probably would have made it on the bikes for all but the last kilometer or so. But even if we had made it that far it would have been difficult to know just where we were. The ford of the river was barely passable with the high clearance 4-wheel drive Suburban. From what we have heard about Peru and Bolivia, we will have enough practice with hairy roads, and having someone else drive really allowed us to enjoy the view.

This reservoir on the Rio Yeso is a favorite spot for local trout fisherman.
Once we had arrived and unpacked, we decided to hike back in for a bit before enjoying the baths.
Knowing the elevation of these mountains does not prepare you for their scope, and photographs simply cannot do them justice. If you keep in mind that where this photo is taken we are already close to 10,000 feet, it is like being on top of the Smokies, and looking up at the Rockies. These peaks form the border between Chile and Argentina. The highest of them Cerro Morado is nearly 20,000 feet.
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