Torres del Paine- The "W" Part III

Trip Start Jun 27, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Chile  , Patagonia,
Saturday, February 28, 2009

I am back in Puerto Natales (the town closest to Torres del Paine) because Hilary and I woke up this morning, once again cold, sore and having had very little sleep.  We both decided that 4 days out in Torres del Paine was fantastic as heck, but was certainly enough!

My body is beyond sore at this point and I am looking forward to sleeping in a bed tonight.  Every morning our sleeping bags would be slightly damp because it would rain throughout the night. 

The last two days of the trek were outstanding and unforgettable.  They were also very physically challenging and I am pretty proud that I was able to do as much as we did! I remember after only the first 24 minutes (I knew the time because I had checked my watch,) that I had considered turning around and simply doing day hikes because my backpack was so heavy and I knew that this was going to be extremely challenging.  That seems like such a long time ago- and I will tell you, after the first hour it was all downhill from there.  (Not literally!) 

I am in absolute awe at the beauty that exists in this world.  The serenity and the peacefulness of the wilderness is something that I can not ever grow tired of.  There were so many countless moments where I would look around me in utter amazement... and I was constantly being blown away by the magnificence of it all. 

I have to tell you one little story about today's trek... Hilary and I had already decided to catch the 8pm bus back to Puerto Natales, but I am quite certain that if we hadn't made that decision we would have called it a day after the river crossing we had to make! 

Last night it rained and rained and rained.  The paths were quite muddy and there were a few small streams that we had to cross by hopping along exposed rocks.  That wasn't a big deal because we had to do that throughout the past four days. 

However... we were NOT prepared to cross a river that was divided into two sections.  Most of the rivers had bridges built to make the crossings easy and more importantly, safe.  There was one river that we had to cross today that was obviously much bigger because of all the rains that we had last night.  It took us over 30 minutes to figure out where it would even be possible to cross.  Even when we had determined where it might be possible, it still took us another couple of minutes to conjure up enough courage to attempt the crossing! 

I can only be thankful that the river was divided into two sections because that meant we had a bit of a break in between leaping from rock to rock.  I don't think I would have made it if it had been one big river.  Really... I don't think I could have made it.  I don't know if there was ever a time I was more terrified in my life... it was THAT scary!  I do not doubt for a moment that if we had slipped or missed a rock that at best we would come away with broken bones.  No joke. 

That said, I made it safe and sound!  After we crossed the river Hilary and I had to sit down for about 20 minutes because we were both a bit freaked out, to say the least!!! 

I not only take away a sincere appreciation for the beauty of this world, I also leave with the absolute knowledge that the forces of nature can not be taken lightly!
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allisonakemi on

Reply to the Stanton Stars!!
Hello!!! Thank you once again for the great questions! I love them!!!

I am having a difficult time finding an internet location to upload new photos... so sorry for the delay on new posts!!!

Did you touch a vicunya?
I wish!!! They are wild animals that are protected so you aren´t supposed to go near them... but even if you tried they are WAY too fast!

Did you cross a river with your backpack?
YES!!! It was awful!!! One of the scariest things I have ever had to do in all of my life!!!

How cold was the water?
Well, all of the water is run off from the glacier... so it is ICE cold! Great to drink when you are sweating from all of the hiking!!!

Was sleeping in your tent comfortable?
Heck no!!! We had flimsy little sleep pads that are supposed to help, but you can still feel every rock, pebble and stick under you! I felt like the princess and the pea!!! Not only was the ground uncomfortable, but when it poured the inside of the tent would be damp in the morning...and that was with a really GOOD tent. I don`t think ANY tent in the world could have kept us dry with some of the down pours that we had!!!

What was the scariest thing that you have seen?
I think the raging river has to be the scariest thing for me...

Why were scared of crossing the river?
The river was RAGING and I knew that if I slipped it would be ALL OVER. No kidding... there was little room for error when crossing that river. The water was going so fast that if you missed a step... you were certainly going straight down with the river.

Were the vicunya violent?
No... vicuñyas are very peaceful creatures.

Was the caterpillar poisonous?
I don´t know... but I hope not because I picked it up!!!

Was the river going fast?
The river was going so fast... there was a lot of water because of the heavy rains from the night before. I don`t think the river is always that strong. We spoke to a ranger and he said it just depends on the rains as to how fast and strong the rivers are.

Why did you call the mountain cupcake mountain?
The mountain had these colored layers that reminded me of a cupcake`s frosting!

Did you see or hear any wolves?
No... I don`t think there were any wolves in the area. At least, not that I know of. Although one night Hilary and I woke up to hear scary steps outside of our tent... we think they were reindeer but are not certain.

How did you cross the river?
We had to jump from one rock to the next. It was awful because we had our heavy backpacks on and that messed with our balance!

Were your feet freezing after you put them in the water?

Was the water dripping on you when it rained when you were in the tent?
The water wasn´t dripping on us inside of the tent but it came through the bottom and made the inside lining wet and cold!

Was Hilary ok?
Hilary is a tough chick... of course she was ok!!!

I will see you all very soon!!! I think there are seven weeks left for me!!! Keep the questions coming until then!

Stanton Stars '

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