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Climbing up to Lake Hualcupén

   
 Estimated reading time: 2 min. Texts Mónica Pons   Photos Eduardo Epifanio
Lake Hualcupén in Caviahue

Lake Hualcupén is a small water body inside a pastoral shire with impressive simplicity, a perfumed environment and a sky that seems to be closer to our heads than anywhere else.

Our outing near the town of Caviahue had Lake Hualcupén as its destination. How could we miss it if we had heard marvels about it!

We left on our vehicle very early in the morning. We took the paved road to Loncopué and a few kilometers away on the right, a sign indicated a detour into a gravel road we were supposed to take. We left Lake Caviahue behind and, little by little, we started to go uphill.

We became familiar with the monkey-puzzle trees on the hillsides. With their fan-like branches, they seemed to have been trimmed on the mountain border. Some of them were young and vigorous. Others had been punished by harsh winters but still remained standing, proud of their lineage, though their branches appeared to be uneven or bare.

The view of the Copahue Volcano from the road was breathtaking. Its constant fumarole escorted us during the entire stretch. What causes it? There is a pond of sulfurous very hot waters that in contact with the air produces that steam we saw.
Lake Hualcupén in Caviahue
As we got along, some clouds seemed hooked in the valleys and emerged gradually. The road continued along a plain without any cliffs. Small meltdown water threads appeared behind every bend.

The hillsides were green. Some scattered animals were grazing here and there. The lack of pollution was evident. There were hardly any denizens. We realized that nature had been here forever and nothing at all had been touched.

Suddenly, the lake appeared below us. Its quiet waters and the house of one settler only were wrapped up by the hills that sheltered the area from the winds.

We got to its shores in silence, so as not to disturb the daily life of that settler. The Hualcupén was reflecting the color of the sky, the mountains and that only house with its animals.
Lake Hualcupén in Caviahue
We went down to the beach of volcanic sand and remained there for a while very quietly. Our peace was only invaded by the voice of a person and some dogs barking in the distance.

We saw that the lake was getting narrower between dark and reddish rocks until it gave shape to a small creek and a waterfall. In a grassy area and jumping from one rock to another, we reached a small monkey-puzzle tree woodland sector ideal to make a stop.

The clouds had disappeared. Their humid content had surely been scattered all around the green valley, getting mingled with the environment. The creek would follow its course downhill up to the part where the Hualcupén runs between steep walls.
Lake Hualcupén in Caviahue
Yes, it was the spot called Cajón del Hualcupén we had visited as we got to Caviahue. Its green velvety carpet upholstering the hillsides had left us speechless.

As we retraced our steps, we understood how each small nook is related to the next one. We just have to learn their secrets while walking their inner paths.
Useful Data
How to get here
Distance from Caviahue: 5 paved kilometers and 11 gravel road kilometers.
When the gravel road starts, there is a gate into the Millaín Currical community. Visitors may cross it but make sure they close it afterwards.
 
Recommendations
The lake is a swim and fishing area.
The road may be accessed by any high vehicle; only in the summer.
 
 
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