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Love in the wild

Some love stories are so perfect on the paper it makes you want to love and be loved; you see love everywhere, everything is love. Other love stories are so perfect that writing them cannot describe how perfect it was – not even a bit. But who cares – we decided to write this story anyway.

This is the story of David and Tess.

One day Tess told David a beautiful, powerful place had caught her attention.  The place was called Patagonia, and the way Tess described it immediately convinced David to book a flight from USA to Chile and to undertake a journey in the world’s end. Because the world’s end, as wild and remote as it is, has something mystic that makes it perfect for a lover’s journey.

They reached Patagonia in the first days of Spring – October – as the sun was shining on the mountains. They had thought about a different place to stay, so they ended up in an alternative-sustainable hotel called EcoCamp Patagonia, right in the middle of Torres del Paine National Park (probably South America’s finest National Park). Their love nest would be a dome (a Suite Dome, to be specific) at the foot of huge, dramatic granite towers that have been standing here for about 18 millions (a long time, indeed).

Yes, everything here looked still and ancient.

As if nature had found the perfect location for peace to prevail for millions of years. But it was only because these were quiet days – with no wind at all – quite scarce days in Patagonia. David and Tess knew it: they were blessed with the weather. They joined a friendly group of 6 travelers and started hiking the W Trek – one of the most striking hiking routes in the world.

Hiking in Torres del Paine...

Los Cuernos: a unique, unmissable sight of the National Park!

They hiked along magnificent granite peaks (Los Cuernos) in French Valley and listened to the staggering sound of the avalanches on the Paine Grande Mountain – the highest peak in the national park. They saw piercing blue lakes and met the grandness of the ice fields as they reached Grey Glacier. They realized how time was flying as they came back to EcoCamp on the third day. Their funny Chilean guides Claudio and Nicole explained to them last day would be the most demanding. So they laced up their shoes on the last day, after a hearty breakfast nearby the woodfire in the Community Domes, and headed on into the wilderness.

On the hike to the towers’ base lookout (22km/13mi), David looked at me with some kind of humor in his eyes.

Yeah, I agreed. It was too perfect for them. It had been snowing overnight, so the whole forest was covered by snow – transforming the Ascencio Valley into something fairytailesque. I asked them if they were married: they told me they weren’t.

See? I'm not kidding when I say it's like being in a fairy tale...

Us, entering the incredible Ascencio Valley

After four hours we reached the lookout, a picture perfect frozen lagoon at the feet of the giant towers – a classic landscape in Patagonia. Few people were there, only one other group hiking the W. We walked on the snow to get closer to the shore of the lagoon, and David asked me where he and Tess could stand for a couple picture. I was glad to be part of their trip and take that picture – THE picture everyone wants while coming to Torres del Paine.

They showed me their teeth as they stood on a rock. Why not, fun idea for a picture! I took two pictures before I said I got what they wanted. But David wanted a last one.

Suddenly he dropped the knee, right in front of my camera.

Everything was quiet, magic, perfect. Tess could not restrain a scream as she saw the ring.

1...

2...

3 ...(that crazy moment when you cannot believe it's true...)

“Do you want to marry me?” 

Of course, she said yes. Her reply was prompt and natural. We all applauded and congratulated them. It was a truly emotional moment for everyone.

At night some romantic surprises were waiting for them in their dome – including Champagne and chocolate (to make the day even more perfect!). We all toasted for both the perfection of the trip and the lucky lovers. Dropping the knee at the world’s end is something, really – and even better when you got such nice people to accompany you.

Now you know the answer!

Congratulations, David and Tess!

 You may have inspired hundreds of people to drop the knee here, in the most striking landscape of Patagonia!