Up at the crack of dawn (as usual) we took a mini bus 3 hours drive to the National Park stopping to take pictures of the stunning snow capped mountains and a stunning bright blue lake. Starting the hike at 3,900m above sea level we were feeling the effects of altitude right from the beginning. The tough walk took 3 hours uphill to 4,600m but had stunning views of mountains and waterfalls the whole way. Thinking we would never make it we finally found the 'happy ending' Laguna 69. The lake was absolutely stunning! As it started to hail/snow we all got cold very quickly . . . Although 2 guys thought this was the perfect time for a naked pic by the lake! We sped back down trying to get warm, getting pretty wet feet with the swollen rivers covering some of the initial stepping stones. Lots of people were feeling pretty sick from the extreme altitude (incl poor Soph!) the walk said to be higher and harder than any day on the Inca trail.