Blogs from Torres del Paine, Magallanes, Chile, South America - page 6

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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine February 11th 2012

So we have to keep telling ourselves, we are lucky to be on this bus with our calamity of the previous day.... Yes you've guessed it we have the 2 back seats that don't recline and are next to the toilet....... Thankfully everyone kept yesterday' s tea inside of them and the lads in front did not feel the need to recline their seats on top of us, which is literally what would have happened... I have to say when you're used to long flights these long bus journeys are a pleasure.... Comfy seats, great views out the big windows, regular stops to get off and stretch your legs (even if you have to go through the pain of lugging your bags through a border crossing and giving up a few of our 5 a day) ... read more
Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine!
Salto Grande Falls

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine December 26th 2011

There are places in our world where the sheer beauty of the landscape instills within you a sense of awe, wonderment, contentment and unabashed happiness. Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia is such a place. After arriving in the southern Chilean city of Punta Arenas we set off in search of some penguins on the beaches of the Straits of Magellan, who are breeding at this time of the year. As is the way with penguins, they were highly entertaining to watch as they waddled and interacted with each other. However, this was just a prelude to seeing the real jewel of Patagonia: Torres del Paine, which translates to ‘The Blue Towers’ in a mix of Spanish and the now extinct indigenous dialect. Upon first entering the park I was constantly drawn to the milky ... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine December 23rd 2011

Today was the day to do the hike to the Towers, a grueling 19km and 800 meter gain with a bum knee/leg. Our fearless leader Fede had arrived after his 2 day bus trip and never having been before he literally walked to the wrong Torres camp site, dragging ALL his luggage with him up about 15 km round trip getting more and more pissed off. He had ranted about it at dinner considerably however it was quite funny truth be told. Christian and I had discussed me trying the summit at my own pace and he suggested that Fede go with me. City boy who just spent the last 2 hours bitching about the mountains and how he would never do it again. Michele kept teasing him about his upcoming lazy day (unbeknown to him) ... read more
Towers Hike
Towers Hike
Towers Hike

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine December 22nd 2011

Up far too early with this eternal sunlight down here and my knee is so stiff I can barely move it. After knocking Michelle around for a while trying to get out of the tent I finally made it to the washroom and main hall for breakfast. Coffee is a wonderful thing and again I had my staple of white bread and cheese. Gooooooooo travel diet, the eternal meal in Latin America for veggies! We all pitched in to help Christian 2 pack up our campsite and we got on board the boat for 10:00 sailing back across Lago Pehoe. Everyone helped with my bag as well and we all sat on top deck enjoying the view. Short public bus ride to the start of our supposedly scenic and informative walk to the Information Centre. What ... read more
Random hike
Info Centre
Info Centre

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine December 21st 2011

Today was our day to hike the French Valley, around fresh water lakes, lots of ups and downs, a great lookout on an avalance site as well as wonderful views of the Towers at the top. Definitely one of the more popular legs of the "W" trek, and despite waking up with my knee so stiff I had to swing it straight legged (barely avoiding Michele's head) to get out of the tent, I was determined to go. Today was one of the big hikes 22 km round trip to 2 major lookout points and over the river as well, with lots of different terraine. I ended up doing 17km as I had to give up at the avalanche lookout site after I heard that the next bit was a boulder field for at least a ... read more
French Valley
French Valley

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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine December 20th 2011

The (Bates) hotel continues to not impress; both Michele and I had beds with a top mattress that slid off towards the floor causing a 45 degree angle of sleeping. We both woke up half on the floor half on the bed. Positive? Water pressure was good. Left the hotel at 07:30 to commute on local bus (but not chicken by any standard) with one pit stop (read banos!) thankfully. Arrived at Torres del Paine National Park entrance, and scrambled for a marathon walk to see the waterfall and some lovely views. Unfortunately it literally was a marathon pace and I was struggling to keep up with my bad knee. It was too much too fast I fear and my leg has been going downhill since then. The boat ride across Lago Pehoe took half hour ... read more
Torres Del Paine National Park
Torres Del Paine National Park
Torres Del Paine National Park

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine December 16th 2011

One of the planned highlights of the Patagonian wilderness is, without a doubt, the Torres del Paine National Park. I was lucky enough to be able to spare the time to complete the highly recommended circuit - an 8 day foray circumnavigating the granite mountains with everything on my back. To save mental capacity, I have decided to publish (the more interesting parts of) my personal diary documenting the voyage. The complete trip is very long, so I’ve done a nice thing and split it into numerous parts for you to read as you see fit: Part Two: http://www.travelblog.org/South-America/Chile/Magallanes/Torres-del-Paine/blog-674890.html Part Three: http://www.travelblog.org/South-America/Chile/Magallanes/Torres-del-Paine/blog-... read more
Cliffs of Dixon
The travelled Valley
Glacial Lake

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine December 16th 2011

This is part two of my account from Torres del Paine National Park. You might want to read them in order. Part One: http://www.travelblog.org/South-America/Chile/Magallanes/Torres-del-Paine/blog-673779.html Part Three: http://www.travelblog.org/South-America/Chile/Magallanes/Torres-del-Paine/blog-674891.html Day 4 - Glacier, Paso, Cliffside Today started oh so early but it was oh so worthwhile. The first 3 hours were all uphill - a gradual incline through trees that would get smaller and smaller until they were no longer present, but not before making us look like giants on the Serengeti, interspersed with treacherous mud log walkways. Instead of taking the safer, longer, more snag... read more
Exhausted
The Ice
The Glacier

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine December 16th 2011

This is part three of my account from Torres del Paine National Park. You might want to read them in order. Part One: http://www.travelblog.org/South-America/Chile/Magallanes/Torres-del-Paine/blog-673779.html Part Two: http://www.travelblog.org/South-America/Chile/Magallanes/Torres-del-Paine/blog-674890.html Day 6 - Cirque du Escondido Possibly the first of the campers to leave the site today, less faffing as we can walk up the valley without our tents or anything else we won't need for the 4 hour round trip. The walk went really well with some fabulous views all round accompanied by the thunder of collapsing ice bricks from the glacier and subsequent powder shower down the cliff. ... read more
Cirque du Valley Frances
Me, in the Valley
Lake Something

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine December 5th 2011

We headed out to Puerto Natales in Chile from El Calafate in Argentina. Border crossings in Patagonia are quite common and so we expected this to be a well organised experience, given the bus company does it every day. What was meant to be a 5 hour bus ride (tolerable!) turned into 7.5 hours as we wasted time at both the Argentine exit point, and also the Chilean entry point. I´m not quite sure why this happened, but the bus driver sat for at least 45 minutes at each point waiting for something, while other buses came and went before we did! It meant a very frustrating day, and we were glad when we reached Puerto Natales. The scenery on the way did not disappoint - more Patagonian steppe, sweeping landscapes, and finally huge snow capped ... read more
Beginning of the walk
Scotch bonnet
Not a bad view




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