Blogs from Torres del Paine, Magallanes, Chile, South America - page 15


South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 29th 2009

I find myself singing that line,"climb every mountain..." from The Sound of Music as we hike the staggeringly breathtaking trails of Patagonia. From Ushuaia we traveled to Chile to visit the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. We lodged at Erratic Rock, a hostel and trekking outfit operated by a few zealous guys from Oregon. The hostel was no frills but they put together a mean stick-to-your-ribs breakfast and offer you all the advice a novice trekker could ask for before heading into the park. We began our 6 day trek with two other travellers, Malcolm and Kyla. We trudged 11 miles the first day through snow flurries but were rewarded with views of Torres and Los Cuernos del Paine as the clouds broke mid-afternoon. The second day we hiked along the base of Cerro Paine Grande ... read more
Morning Reflections
Los Cuernos
Valle de Francés

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 28th 2009

Semaine 20 - Le parc national Torres del Paine Le petit groupe forme sur le ferry Navimag (Bob, Julie, Martin, Ly fa, Paula et moi meme) s'est donc retrouve a l'auberge El Refugio pour preparer les plans d'attaque pour s'aventurer dans le parc. Nouc somme alles a une reunion d'info dans une auberge, ou la, un americain plutot cale nous a deballer une liste de conseils et d'astuces pour etre pret pour marcher dans le parc. Veritable show, le mec nous a meme parfois fait peur, mais je dois dire que globalement, ce fut plutot utile d'entendre parler et nous avertir sur le vent extrement violent, le temps changeant, et surtout les astuces pour ne pas payer une fortune (car oui, etant un des plus beau parc d'amerique du sud, les Chiliens en profiter pour faire ... read more
Gibbo in Torres del Paine
1er camping
lago grey

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 27th 2009

I just got back from a 5 day trekking/backpacking trip in Torres del Paine, the park in Patagonian Chile famous for its towers (torres). In addition to being a bit tired, I don´t think that I can fully describe my experience in words, or even pictures. Hands down my favorite place in South America. Here´s a tease: Imagine a place where metallic blue lakes are enveloped by vibrant flowers, mountain berries and lush, pristine pine forests. Where hills give way to towering snow-laden peaks, and snow turns to massive glaciers, which creak and groan and every so often treat you to a thundering avalanche. Unique geoligically-shaped summits dot the landscape, transiently protruding from the mist to provide cellestial viewpoints. To accentuate how great this place is, I loved it so much despite having awful weather for ... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 26th 2009

Our final day in El Calafate I decided to go and see the famous Parque Nacional Torres del Paine in Chile. It was quite expensive and quite a long stint on the bus from El Calafate. But I considered that I may not be in this part of the world again so I might as well take the chance to see it rather than rue it later. We left early and headed up the steep step behind El Calafate which took us up to 1000m where there was a very flat puna like terrain, similar to the likes we are use to seeing at much higher altitude. But this part of the the world is all about wind, the winds coming off the Pacific Ocean. These strong winds do not allow much to grow, it was ... read more
Torres del Paine
Cascada Paine
On the way to Torres del Paine

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 23rd 2009

Here we are all safe and sound in Torres del Paine, we had a great ride up to here yesterday with the whole gang back together, as Mike rejoined us in Punta Arenas. See his blog below. Cheers, Rosco Hola, Its me again back in the land of the living - and the land of the travelling. Most people are aware I fractured my left hand and leg as a result of a get-off on a gravel road. Luckily same leg as my previously damaged one, albeit in a different place - at least I still only have one gammy leg. The accident after thorough analysis turns out to have been caused by equipment failure. Unfortunately for my pride and reputation, the equipment that failed was the control line between the grey stuff in my head ... read more
Up for repair
Whale monument
Patagonian Bus stop


South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 22nd 2009

On 31 October 2009 the highlight of my trip to South America began. The much anticipated Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine was just a short plane and bus ride away. And after all the hassle of trying to book Sky Airline tickets, the airline came up trumps. Due to a brief stop over in Puerto Montt on the way from Santiago to Punta Arenas we were fed twice within the space of 2 hours and were even given extra leg room seats without asking, it was a life of luxury after all my bad nights on buses. The only down side to the flight was the landing in Punta Arenas. With Patagonia being mainly flat and exposed to extreme winds, the landing over the ocean was hair raising to say the least. The plane was being ... read more
Fist view of Glacier Grey
A small part of the glacier wall

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 22nd 2009

After 7 days of riding on gravel we have two 'rest' days in El Calafate. However, this is the gateway to Glaciers National Park - hence, sitting relaxing is not an option. So we climb back on the bike to go and get up close to the Perito Moreno glacier. And we really did get close, last time I was here it was way back across the other side of the lake. This time its right up against the near shore, actually making contact down below us. Its late in the day so the low sunlight is glancing off the icy peaks make it glow blue. We sit watching patiently and quietly (all the big tourist buses have gone), only its not quiet as the glacier is constantly creaking and groaning, and then suddenly there will ... read more
Perito Moreno Glacier
glaciers on Lago Argentino
here it is

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 19th 2009

Every now and then a stone would clatter off the undercarriage, I almost expected one to rip trough the floor. It's early morning in South Patagonia and we are on a rough unpaved road heading to Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most beautiful parks in South America. Well, that's what the guide books proclaim. My first sight of the park certainly lived up to expectation. From a distance I was reminded of fairytales of a weary traveller who seeks out a kingdom where help and salvation lie. The traveller stands at the edge of a forest and in the distant valley below a great castle appears, built upon a hill. A castle strong and immense. The majestic granite towers - or "torres" in Spanish - are the centre piece of the national park, ... read more
Glacier Grey
Walking in a winter wonderland
What we saw.....

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 14th 2009

We intended to send episode number 2 of our blog about a week ago but for reasons that you will discover in episode 3 which will follow very shortly, we have been in the middle of nowhere with no internet or mobile reception for the last few days. 2 November (day 9) - Peninsula Valdes The 5.15am start wasn't too bad, especially as they didn't serve breakfast on the plane (they had forgotten to load it on) so we managed to sleep the whole way. James is actually a closet plane spotter as he loves telling me what kind of plane we are on, how many engines it has etc - this one was apparently a very old McDonnell Douglas 80, all I cared about was that it got us to Trelew. We smuggled some food ... read more
Male with his harem
Albino southern right whale
James and a whale

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine October 15th 2009

Just back from 5 days hiking the W Trail in the Torres del Paine. My words and pictures can't tell or show how fantastic this place is, its a real wonderland. We were lucky enough to experience the whole range of Patagonian weather - it started sunny, then we had gale force winds (strong enough to blow you off your feet !!!) and a blizzard, then overcast, then 15cm of snow, then complete calm with blue sunny skies and finally clear blue skies and more gale force winds. At times we were in T shirts at others we were in thermals, fleeces and waterproof trousers and jackets. This was just what we wanted, it wouldn have been as good had the weather been good the whole time. The first three nights we stayed in refugios which ... read more
Mirador Las Torres
Sendero Mirador de Las Torres
Las Torres To Los Cuernos

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