Torres Del Paine and Perito Moreno Glacier

Trip Start Jan 08, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, March 17, 2006

After spending a few days in Puerto Natalas relaxing and taking it all very easy we had decided to take the three hours bus ride with the rest of the Navimag crew we met and climb the famous Torres Del Paine. A beautiful mountain range with spectacular views and a hikers heaven. Apparently. All we had heard so far was that it was freezing cold and snowing in certain places but still beautiful. As neither Paul or I had planned to be hiking up huge mountains we opted for the one day trip instead of freezing our way around the ´W´ circuit as it is known, which takes four or five days. Or if your really into it all, go for the nine day hike. Not even a thought for us. hahaha.
So we walked up with two Aussie girls we met on the boat. Fi and Vic both from Melbourne. Anyway they had kept us amused for the last week so it was fitting we cruised up with them for the day before they continued on the circuit. A beautiful hike over fours hours or so, in between massive mountains scattered with waterfalls and in and out of forests most of the way up. The beautiful sound of the milky coloured glacier water passing us as we hiked along. As the day moved on i began to feel like i was back climbing the volcano, this time i was slower due to an injury i picked up on that beast of a mountain. hahahaha. So with small steps i made it to the last section. Then it was a matter of climbing up a mountainside covered with massive boulders and some orange dots spray painted up the hill that we were supposed to follow. At least Vic was feeling the same as me and we made our way to the top sense of humour still on our side. Just! haha.
Then as we reached the top we saw them. Well at least the bottom half of the three famous peaks. The tops were covered in clouds. But still it was a spectacular sight! A big lake in the middle which was fed by a glacier sitting high up on the hill in front of us.
Could only imagine what it looked like with the sun shining on them. A few pictures and then it was time to head to make sure we didn´t miss the last bus home.

Next stop El Calafate. Another destination young Paul never realised he was going to see when he started his ´little´ journey south with me. hahaha. This was one destination that had always been on my agenda for South America. We got to El Calafate, ran into the girls again after their quicker than expected hike around the ´Torres Del Paine, hired a car and hit the road at 6am to drive the hour journey to the famous Perito Moreno Glacier. It was actually in the news several days before we got there because it had ruptured and broken the part that was connected to the mainland. Well we arrived just before sunrise and were welcomed to the thunderous sounds of the ice cracking in the distance. Out we jumped and rugged up from the strong cold winds coming of the glacier. As no one else was there we had all the space to walk around and not be disturbed by bus loads of other gringos doing the same thing. 14km long and 50mts high. It was huge!!!! And still growing 2mts a day from somewhere inside it. Listening to the sound of the ice cracking then trying to see where the ice would crash into the water below was a great game. It was incredible to stand there and have this huge mountain of ice staring you in the face ready to crack and break off at any second. After a couple of hours of taking it all in we hit the road and got out of there just in time as all the bus loads were arriving.
Fantastic to finally see one of my main goals for South America!!

On to the far south.....
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