Grey to Refugio Cuernos

Trip Start Jan 02, 2008
Trip End Jan 17, 2008

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Where I stayed
Refugio Cuernos

Flag of Chile  ,
Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Today was a slightly shorter and not quite as epic day  Which is good, because I was pretty exhausted by now! We started the morning by running along Lago Grey (Grey Lake) where we could still get in some views of the edge of the Grey glacier and watch pieces of ice floating along the lake. We should have been able to get views of the Cuernos del Paine, however, it was just too darned cloudy. The weather started turning south on us. The clouds started rolling in, the rain started spitting and boy oh boy, did the wind start blowing! I nearly got knocked over a few times by what must have been 40 mi/hr gusts. I tried to take a film of the wind that you should be able to view in the slideshow. After the windy pass, it started to drizzle. Luckily our first aid station at Lake Pehoe' (Pay-way) wasn't too far ahead. Once inside the shelter, the heavens let go and it poured down rain. Veronica caught up with me at the shelter and we decided to just hang out with our Coca Cola (made with real cane sugar, not the nasty corn syrup stuff you get in the state) and wait out the storm.  30 minutes later, the weather cleared up and we were once again on our way. We had a great time crossing some pretty crazy bridges. David, one of the younger and faster runners, said he tried running over the bridge I have pictured in my slideshow, but ended up bottoming out on the first step. I decided to walk around some of the bridge instead. Then I heard this horrible engine sound and couldn't figure out what in the world was going on ahead of me on the trail. Lo and behold, out in the absolute middle of nowhere, we encountered trail maintenance workers weed-eating the trail. Further ahead, there were men repairing a bridge.  Abelardo said that these people are actually paid by the parks department with tax payer money to maintain the trails. I'm glad to see the country has the forethought to keep their national treasures in tackt. Later on, we crossed a fairly precarious suspension bridge (only 2 people could cross it at a time). After the bridge, you had a choice to go left up to the British camp to get a good view of the Cuernos Del Paine or go right toward refugio Cuernos. Since it was a pretty cloudy day, Veronica and I decided to just go to the right toward a hot shower and lunch. As we approached the refugio, the scenery turned into what looked like a calm tropical ocean lined with beautiful smooth rock along the beach. I kept wondering where the palm trees were! After 7 hours of moving, we finally arrived at the refugio dirty and famished. Not to mention sleepy, since I had to check out the top bunk in our room for a quick cat nap after lunch. After the nap, Wendy, Allan, Barnaby and I walked down to the beach to check out the views. the gusts coming off of the lake could knock you down flat! We found a little shelter and hung out down near a waterfall for awhile and then headed back in to play cards until dinner.
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