Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine

Trip Start Dec 02, 2007
Trip End Sep 01, 2008

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Flag of Chile  ,
Thursday, January 17, 2008

Puerto Natales was our first port of call in Chile proper, excluding the various border hopping thus far.  It is significantly (and unexpectedly) colder, testing our two-jumpers-and-no-jacket clothes for nine months to the limit!

Puerto Natales is the key starting  point for the Torres del Paine National Park, which is repeatedly listed as the best in South America - quite some achievement given the scope and scale of the continent. Unfortunately, time pressures meant we could only take a day trip there, as opposed to a multi-day hike. Even so, we had a great day. The park is spectacular, mixing azure lakes with high Alpine scenery and varied flora and fauna. We even got to see some flamingos in flight, which was pretty shocking as neither of us knew they could actually fly!

As well as the scenery, what really made the day was the tour group - possibly the most disparate group of people collected together for a while, everyone got on really well. From the crazy Germans to the honeymooning couple from Santiago to the eccentric Israeli academic, it was a great trip. Unfortunately, we were led astray by the Germans for an evening out on returning to town...
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