<< First Dawn

03/26/12 - Lago Sarmiento

Lago Sarmiento is one of the lakes not fed by a glacier. It is the home of a blue green algae that grows in layers to form calcified structures that look like corals, but are structured like stromatolites. The lake is much lower than it was. It has been shrinking since the last ice age, so it is now rimmed with exotic calcium deposits.

We walked down from the road. The vegetation is mainly bushes and grasses, the bushes clustered against the wind and guanacos. If you look carefully, you can see that the gentle hills are full of guanacos, relatives of the llama. There were also a number of birds, including a large snipe with an extremely long beak.

Our guide told us that there was a family of foxes living at the entrance station to the park which was where our hike was going to end. We really didn't expect to see them, but there they were. We almost tripped over them, so our hike ended with a lovely surprise.

A guanaco - a major theme of our hike

A large snipe

The view back

One of the many plants growing in a tight cluster

The lake proper

Another view of the lake

The calcified deposits line the shore.

They do look like coral.

One of the beaches

Another view of the calcium deposits

One of the foxes, posing nicely for us

Keywords: chile