Drive to Torres del Paine National Park

Trip Start Feb 17, 2010
Trip End Apr 15, 2010

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Where I stayed
Camping Pehoe

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

We left El Chalten at 6 am and breakfasted on the road somewhere  I think.  It is hard to remember.  We drove east into the sunrise which was spectacular.  Then we headed south, then west.  Around 11 am we exited Argentina, went into no-man's land between Argentina and Chile.  It was here that we had to eat all of our fruit, vegetables, meat and honey before entering Chile.  Stones and sand were not a problem.  We crossed the border without too much trouble.  The border people made us fill out a bunch of forms and searched our rucksacks (backpacks) but not that thoroughly.

Chile immediately appeared different: greener, grassier... There were cattle grazing on the rolling hills.  In the mountain valleys, ranches and houses seemed neater and the sidewalks in the town we shopped at were intact with curbs.  The towns had an alpine look about them.  Chile has been more expensive, e.g., our groceries, any equipment we still needed for hiking,  I got pink gloves because they were the least expensive and a stuffed penguin toy for Theo before doing grocery shopping for myself and our cook group.

We had great views of the Torres del Paine mountains with a rainbow as we arrived.  I was surprised that most everyone was talking or just not looking so they didn't get to see the rainbow and the great view right away. 

I had cooking anxiety again.  Our first night camping in Chile in the national park here, our cook group had to make dinner.  We ditzed around in the supermarket in Puerto Natales because our budget was approx. $75 US for dinner, breakfast and pack-up lunch for 18 people.  Someone suggested roasted chickens from the deli but we were worried it would be too expensive so we switched to spaghetti bolognese.   That proved equally expensive so we went back to our original idea.  Deb objected to the chickens because they would be cold by dinner time, but she only eats steak anyway.  It ended up that we were under budget because they only charged us for one of the 5 chickens we ended up buying, but we had skimped on the lunch meat for lunch so people were unhappy because they only ended up with 1 piece of meat and pieces pieces of cheese with 2 rolls apiece - ridiculous.  Everyone was busy packing for the "W" walk.  The chicken turned out to be a hit though.

Deb upgraded so I had a solo tent again.

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