Arrived in Puerto Natales to try the 4-day "W" trek through the nearby Torres del Paine National Park with its impressive mountain scenery. Stayed in rustic Refugio lodges with crowded dorm rooms and sociable international mix (chatted with German, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Chilean, US and Australian nationalities amongst others !).
Day 1 - climb up to the famous "Torres del Paine" towers of rock overlooking mountain lake through a mix of fierce gales on exposed paths, rain, sunshine and a little snow !
Day 2 - warm and sunny day for an easy hike alongside azure lake with Condors soaring above the mountains, although walking slightly slower than normal due to heavy pack...
Day 3 - perfect weather for 10 hours of tough hiking up through the Vallee Francais to a stunning 360 degree viewpoint, crossing "Indiana Jones" style rickety bridges over mountain torrents and watching avalanches roll off the glacier lining the valley.
Day 4 - walk up a pass to views over the iceberg-dotted Lago Grey, and then along the shore to another viewpoint close to the face of the giant blue/white hued Glacier Grey.
Finally caught a catamaran and bus back to town
for a celebratory curry and wine with some hiking companions to complete the adventure.
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