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

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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

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine December 3rd 2011

The W trek in Torres del Paine National park was phenomenal. We had 'exceptional' weather the whole way, which was warmer than usual & at times hot& sunny. It meant that we could see the summits of all of the huge mountains. It also meant I carried too much stuff ie wet weather trousers- but these are a necessary precaution in Patagonia where the weather changes rapidly & the mountains create their own weather systems too! The longest hike I had done until this date was a day hike, so I had some trepidation about what to expect and whether I would be fit enough. I shouldn't have worried- our group of 7 were lovely- a Canadaian couple, British couple, and a Swiss guy & Dutch lady were lovely, and all very well travelled and with ... read more
Guanacos
Dead guanaco. A bit gross, but it is proof of pumas!
Gorgeous flowers

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 28th 2011

Yes, we survived it! During seven days and six nights, we were wondering if the meaning of "Paine" is "pain"! We found out, that there is no signification for that word, but for us, "Torres del Paine" still means "Towers of pain"! Let me explain you shortly our incredible adventure! We first arrived at laguna amarga (see the map of the circuit) on a sunny day by bus and paid or entrance fee to the park. As we decided to hike the whole circuit, which was supposed to be much better and wilder as the touristic part of the circuit (which forms a "W"), we directly began to hike, with ours backpacks with rented sleeping bags, pad and tents and the food for the seven days we planed. After 15 kilometers and about 5 hours walk, ... read more
Day 1
Day 2 Breakfast
Day 2

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

Day 13 - Grey Glacier It was an early start - 6am, which meant that we missed breakfast. We had instead, asked for a packed breakfast to be provided by the hotel. Our companions for the trip, Roger and Lynne, came down after us, and i had already retrieved our breakfast. "Ive got beakfast", i said to Roger. "ill just get ours then", "No, ive got it all", "All in that one paper bag", "Yes...." and i waited until the bag was opened and they could appreciate the quality of the breakfast provided - one ham and cheese sandwich each and an orange. Lynne took this to reception and said "this is terrible", "i know" the receptionist replied, "thereś not even a drink, "i know" the receptionist replied.... What do you do? We got on the ... read more
Great views of the glacier
Sunbathing Penguin Iceburg
Us in front of our second glacier

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

Day 12 - Torres del Paine We went down for breakfast, which was a little disappointing, during which our chocolate biscuit offering was repaid in the form of the chocolate buscuit box from the LAN flight and a thank you message from Roger and Lynn that read "To services to the community with grateful thanks, repayment with intrest" which we found very amusing. We went downstairs and there were three mini buses waiting to take us out for the day. Our guide was called Carlos, and he explained that our first stop was to be at a bridge to see some of the flora and fauna. On our way out of the hotel, towards the entrance to the National Park, we saw a condor, which everyone tried to get a good shot of. At the park ... read more
Wild sweet peas
Making our way across the wooden bridge
Oldest hotel in the park has spectacular views

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

Upon arrival to Puerto Natales we checked into our hostel called ‘The Singing Lamb Backpackers’ and enquired about the trekking options in the Torres del Paine National Park. We were advised that there would be a meeting the following day to discuss different options and also information about hiring gear for the trek, so the next day we went and found out that there are 2 main options; 1 is to do the ‘W’ trek (the reason for the name the ‘W’ is purely due to the shape of the route you take not anything adventurous!) and the 2nd is to do the circuit which involves walking all the way around the mountains before doing the ‘W’ to finish. All of us agreed to do the ‘W’ trek but also to start by doing the tail ... read more
Hostel
1st campsite
W trek

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 17th 2011

Day 11- Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine Yet another early start was met with slight disappointment. We were met by our guide and taken down to meet the boat that was to take us up a fyord before transferring to zodiac speed boats up the Rio Serrano to our hotel. We were told it was simply too rough as the wind had not got any lighter, and whilst the boat would have not sunk, their concern was that we would all have been seasick. We were taken to the offices of the company running the tour and asked to return at 9am when they were going to formulate an alternative plan. There was very little open in the way of cafes or shops whilst we waited for the new plan, so we wandered looking through ... read more
Zodiac Boats took us up river
All Ashore
A short hike to the glacier

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 15th 2011

Day 29 - Wednesday 9th November Up at 6.00am to have breakfast and final preparation which included Scott running 5 blocks into the centre of town to the ATM for a top up of money. We waited in the sitting room for our bus which apparently always runs late but when a mini bus turned up and we asked if this was ours, Paula, the woman running the hotel said no and quickly got on the phone and a couple of minutes later a car turned up and she said “go”. We were driven to the bus which was just about full, we jump on and were on the road to Torres Del Paine, but along the way we stopped at a local souvenir shop in the middle of nowhere. After that the scenery started to ... read more
Start of the Trail
Shelley on the way to Lago Grey
Grey Glaciar

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

Met up with a couple I met in Rio, Ruth and Brian, to start the W trek from Puerto Natales. The first day was nice and sunny (although very cold from the famous Patagonian winds!) and gave us some great views of the torres del paine. Just before the first campsite, we climbed a hill and to give us a view of a gorgeous turqoise-blue lake and the jagged mountains behind it. That night we camped and because the sky was completely clear and we were out in the middle of nowhere (not even the refugios are open at this time of year!) the night was just filled with millions of stars that you can never normally see. During the night however, it started to rain pretty heavily and didn't stop all of the next day! ... read more




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