Published: September 18th 2007August 26th 2007
We had another night back in El Calafate after returning from El Charlten and then headed back into Chile, a 4 hour bus journey to Puerto Natales for Tores Del Paine National Park.
The border crossing was nice and easy as there were only five of us on the bus so were through in a few minutes. Typically as soon as we crossed the border we were welcomed once again by the Chilean rain! Half an hour later we arrived in Puerto Natales and the place was like a ghost town with everywhere closed for winter including the 3 hostels we highlighted in the guide book! Luckily at the last one we tried the owner from a different hostel pulled up in her car and whizzed us off to hers and it was very nice and just in time for me to watch Utd vs Spurs!
The next day the weather was still crappy but we still headed to Torres Del Paine. The majority of the trails are closed so our only real option was a day trip or to think of camping there a few days but with this weather and the cost of hiring the gear put
us off so we opted for the tourist day trip!
The trip turned out really well and we got to see quite a lot and the cloud cleared for about 5 minutes to get the pictures of the 3 Torres, before we moved on to the Cuernos (the horns) which was more impressive with black and grey granite mixing with other colors. We stopped at a few green colored lakes and one called Pehoe, which I had to get a picture of next to the sign! We also got to visit Glacier Grey, nothing in comparison to any of the others we’ve seen recently but we got to get close to some large blue icebergs floating close to the shore. That was it for the park but we preferred it in Argentina, hopefully one day we will come back in the summer and camp for a few weeks.
Next up was Punta Arenas and final stop in Chile. We shouldn’t have bothered as there wasnt much to do and the place was bit dull and the only thing we did worth mentioning was a visit to a very impressive cemetery. Some of the mausoleums were as big as
houses and looked like something more you would see in Italy as most of them were replicas of Roman buildings. The reason they are so large is due to the fact that in the early days of this town it was home to sheep farmers and they owned large farms with millions of sheep. This made them shit load of money and they wanted people to know how rich they were and flaunted it on the impresive graves, strange really with them being dead!
That was it for Chile and we left with mixed feeling. We have seen some amazing things but the weather was usually pants and don’t really think we got value for money compared to the rest of our travels. I think we will have to definitely come back in the summer for some better weather and with more money and it may be a different story!
There are more photos below