I'm on top of the end of the world!!!!!

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
Trip End Sep 06, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hostel Kawashker
What I did
Torres Del Paine National Park

Flag of Chile  , Patagonia,
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Today was going to be a very tiring day, but an awesome one.

I got up at 6 am and got myself ready to go and quickly had some breakfast.  Got myself to Becky's hostel at 7.30 am, where we were all meeting.  It was myself, Becky, Simona, Joris and Lochlan sharing the journey up to Torres Del Paine National Park, but only the 3 girls coming back as the boys are trekking the W trail which takes 5 days!!!  Simona drove us most of the way there as she is used to driving on the wrong side of the road.  The thing was she did drive pretty slow so it took longer than anticipated to get there, but that didn't matter.  About 1/2 of the journey was on dirt roads so it was pretty bumpy.  Lochlan drove the last little bit as Simona was not comfortable with going fast on the dirt roads.  We finally got to the car park and ready to start our trek at 10 am.  We had been told that it would take approx 4 hours to trek to the top of Torres and see the towers.  Coming down should take less time, so we aimed to be at the top by 2 pm and had to make sure we were on our descent at 2 pm as the car we hired had to be back at 8 pm this evening and it would take approx 2 hours to drive back!!!  That was the plan anyway.

So here I was, trekking through this amazing national park.  I was just thinking to myself, it was just over 2 weeks ago that I could hardly stand up and move, now I am hiking up a bloody mountain!!!  Amazing eh!

The first part of the hike was pretty steep.  It went up the side of the mountain in quite a steep zig zag trail.  There were no boulders or anything to climb over, it was just a steep incline.  Had to stop a few times as Simona was falling a little behind and we all wanted to stay together.  We told the boys to carry on and we would meet them at the Refugio which was about 1/2 way for some lunch.  Poor Simona was hurting after about the first 20 minutes.  What she didn't tell us was that she has a problem with a trapped nerve in her back and sometimes she cannot feel her legs.  This has already started which was not a good sign.  I gave her the car keys just in case she wanted to turn back and stay there.  She told us to keep on going and not wait for her, she wanted to do it at her own pace.  Fair enough.

God, that first bit of the climb was pretty tough.  It was great when we started heading down a little, but that obviously means you still have to climb back up at some point.  Myself and Becky got to the first Refugio around 1 1/2 hours into the trek.  The boys were there having a little rest.  I did really feel for them as they had all of there stuff in their backpacks including their tent which must have been heavy.  We just had a day bag each with some more clothes and food and that was bad enough carrying that.  We saw some quite miserable people coming down past us.  I think they must have been trekking for a few days looking at the size of their backpacks.  We even saw one girl who was dressed up to the nines, wearing quite pretty clothing, perfect make up and carrying a handbag!!!!!  The boys carried on to the campsite which they were going to be staying at the night and we waited for Simona.  When she arrived, she was in quite a lot of discomfort, but she still wanted to carry on.  I didn't think it was a very good idea, but didn't say anything.

We then started the next part of the hike which was through forest.  Some of it was flat but there were a few steep parts.  It took us just over an hour to get to the campsite and hook up with the boys.  They had already put up their tent (very snug!!) and were having lunch.  Becky and I joined them.  At this point I had to put some clothes back on as it was pretty cold.  We had been sweating all the way up and had stripped down to shorts (I had leggings on underneath) and t shirt, but as soon as you stopped, the sweat just made you extremely cold.  We had been so lucky with the weather.  It was quite a clear day.  Sometimes it became cloudy, but then the sun would break through.  The view on the way up was awesome.  I just couldn't wait to get to the top!

We had been told that the last part of the climb would take 45 minutes and was the hardest part.  Hmmm, not looking forward to this.  So off we went on the last part of the hike up to the top.  We didn't have a clue where Simona was.  She could still be making her way up, or maybe she could have turned back, who knows!  The last part indeed was the hardest.  I really didn't think I was going to make it as my thighs and calves were really aching.  Becky had pushed on and was a little in front of me.  I kept looking at my watch thinking, this isn't gonna happen and then all of a sudden I saw Becky and she said this was it!


My god, it was the most stunning and gorgeous view ever.  The three towers stood right in front of me.  Even though they were covered by a little cloud, they were amazing.  I just sat there and stared at them.  I could not believe what I had just done and had made it to the top.  We climbed down the big boulders to get to the green lake at the bottom and took some photo's and just chilled.  I looked at my watch and thought about making a move when all of a sudden this voice shouted from above.  It was only Simona.  She had made it to the top.  I had literally only just said wouldn't it be funny if she showed up now and she did!  We stayed up there for around 25 minutes all together before we had to start our descent back down.  Hmm, we would have to be quite careful on the first bit as there was a lot of loose gravel and a few times I had lost my footing and slipped and some of it was sheer drops down the cliff face.

We said our goodbye to the boys as they were staying and we probably won't see them again and made our way down.  Simona was just as slow walking back down due to the pain she was in.  Becky and I kept on going and every so often had a little rest and waited for Simona.  It did take us 4 hours to walk back down and by the end of it, my legs felt like jelly.  Becky and I made it back to the car with some time to spare and Simona made it back by 6 which was amazing as I thought it was going to take her a lot longer. In total we hiked 18 kms. It was 9 kms up and 9 kms back.  Doesn't sound far eh! 

Becky drove us most of the way home at quite a quick speed as we needed to fill the car up with diesel and hand the car back before 8 pm.  I did drive for about the last 30 kms.  It was so weird as I have never driven on the wrong side of the road before.  Luckily there weren't many cars around.  We did finally get the car back at dead on 8 pm.  We dropped Simona off near her hostel as she couldn't walk and Becky and I walked back from the car rental company.

I got back to the hostel around 8.30 pm, had my amazingly delicious 2 minute noodles, had a quick shower, then climbed into bed.  I couldn't keep my eyes open as I was so tired.  I am so proud of myself for what I achieved today.  I am loving this outdoors living so think I might take up hiking when I get back home to the UK.  Anyone want to join me??
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sue coleman on

You are amazing!!!!

Mamna on

Keeley I have just caught up with this blog. Your photos are wonderful to see and I am so proud of your achievement. It must have been simply breathtaking getting to the top and just sitting there knowing what you have just acomplished. I'll have a go at walking with you but I feel that I may be out of your league!

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