Trekking the Andean range of Torres Del Paine.

Trip Start Oct 01, 2007
Trip End May 07, 2008

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Flag of Chile  ,
Saturday, December 1, 2007

Chile by name and chile by nature. Holy "ski pants" the wind would cut you the first day we arrived in Puerto Natales. Not as far south as Ushuaia but it seemed colder and definitely a lot less touristy. Which is good in a way as we will not have telescopic Nikon lenses in our faces blocking any decent views. We booked into the hostel for 2 nights hoping we`d get ourselves sorted for the 4-5 day trek through Torres Del Paine national park. But as both of us were sniffling, coughing and were generally under the weather so we were in a race against time due to the ferry we had booked to leave Puerto Natales on Friday the 7th.

There is nowt all to do in Puerto Natales. Everyone comes to organise the trek and spends most of their time putting together their camping packs and supplies of food. This was something we should`ve been doing too but because the the flu we had both picked up was getting worse not better we were left with "stray dog" watching, eating casseroles, drinking hot whiskeys and generally freezing our asses off.

Eventually the flu broke on Monday morning so we decided to get up and hire the camping equipment for 2 days trekking while praying the weather would pick up a little. RAIN + FLU + TENT = SNIFFLES x 1000. We met with Lital and Nir again after we`d been keeping in touch with them since the Salar tour in Bolivia and off for dinner and a few drinks we went. We introduced them to an Irish guy (from Kill) whom we had met in a bar downtown the night before and needless to say they found him as mad in the head (in a nice way) as we did. So after introducing Nir to a few Hot Whiskeys and saying goodnight we headed back for some kip before we got the bus the next morning.

The next two days we spent trekking through the Torres Del Paine national park to see the enormous granite towers of Torres Del Paine in their glory. We didnt have time to do the whole W trek so we decided on the highlight of the park -  the Towers.  On the first day we reached the campsite, Chileno, and because the weather was so good (thank you superman) we decided to put up the tent for the night, eat lunch and head out with two full stomachs again to see the towers before the weather gave in again. The best decision ever. Even though after a 2 hour walk we had to climb over huge rocks and boulders for a solid hour more the view of the towers above the glacial lake was awe inspiring. Again the pictures won`t do it justice but you can take our words for it. We just sat in behind a rock out of the wind and watched the odd cloud roll off the top of these giant spires. We`d have stayed there for hours if it wasn`t getting late so we hit the trek again and headed back for pasta, chocolate, tea and cheap red wine (which was surprisingly nice at 1 euro for a litre).  This was all cooked inside the tent (gasp!) mind you!  We couldnt really see how it would be a fire risk I mean the wind was too strong outside so a gusty tent inside seemed like the perfect place to cook on a gas stove!!!  Hardcore hikers are we!!  Oh ye and the little pack down stove and plate/pot/kettle combo comes in a nice little pack too! So cute! Very cheap to rent all this stuff in Peurto Natales also. 

Next day we arose and headed back for our bus and back to Puerto Natales to get ready for the Navimag ferry to Puerto Montt. Four days on an old converted freight ship through Patagonian fjords and channels and one day on the rough southern pacific to come. Can`t wait to put the feet up and enjoy the beauty along the way and fingers crossed the weather will stay good.
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