Published: April 27th 2012April 27th 2012
Sorry for the delay, I've definitely fallen behind on my diary entries. So on leaving the End of the World there's only direction you can head and that´s up!! so we did a crazy 16 hour drive across the most southerly tip to Torres del Paine crossing boarders about 6 times weaving our way in and out of Argentina and Chile, thanks to a very organised Australian on board, three of us were able to pack off early to take on the W a hike through Torres National Park taking in the best, sights, a hike usually spread out over 5 days, our challenge was to get it all or most of it done in 3, as our ferry left at 12 on the 4th day and if we missed that, our guide assured us we'd be making our own way to our next stop!about 75km in total distance, to add to the fun hostels on the trail are extortional 80 a night for food and board, so we decided to rent a tent and tough it out in the open patagonian winds!
Our first day rest of the crew see us to the base of our first hike up and i´m already regretting packing so much for 3 days, along with the essential food for first two days, we split the tent up with us, and unknown to me, we're about to start with the steepest part of the whole trek, for those 2 hours i just convince myself to take one more step, but from then on i didn´t regret it for a second.
we reached our first camp site by lunch time, we set up tents, n then did the 45 hike right up into the snow to catch a full view of the famous Towers/ Torres huge granite towers, hanging over a glaciar lake, spectacular, it'll make more sense when i put photos up!
from there we went back down had dinner of cheese n salami sandwiches, same as lunch, and breakfast, next morning guys run up early to catch the sunrise i´m happy to photo it from the base, we then head off to our first refugio! after coming back off the mountain, its fairly flat, and incredibly dry n very little wind, very unusual for patagonia, the refugio is a welcome sight when we see it, set up tents and get our first decent dinner inside, along with few glasses of chile's best;)
early start the next morning, unknown to me the toughest day, 2 hours reaches us to Frances valley the centre of the 'W' here we can drop our bags, and i'm about 10 kg lighter to go skipping through this beautiful valley with autumnal forests on ones side and hanging glaciars on the high slopes on the other, 4 hours sees us in and out of the valley now its just two more hours to the refugio and ferry next morning, i managed to hurt my ankle coming back down from Frances valley, so moving a little slower, happy to see our destination point, the bottom of the last leg of the W. the hostel is in view i think we're done for the day 8 hours hiking, not bad, hot shower, dinner, sleep .....
guys have a better plan, hey lets just keep goin, its 5pm, 3 more hours will see us in just around dark! another 11 km hike, i want to cry but majority rules, n after quick rest n snack, i decide lets finish the dam thing, so turning our backs on the hostel we head toward our extended destination point, refugio grey, right up beside the parks own glaciar grey!! the first 2 hours i manage, with beautiful views of the glaciar, but the last hour nearly kills me, the guys keep goin, i follow reluctantly, dark moves in quicker than we thought in the forest, just when i sit down on a fallen tree determined to just set up camp where i´m sitting, we see a little light in the distance, i pick up my bag n nearly leg it,
stumbling into that refugio, best feeling ever, we did it, they can´t believe what we covered in one day at hostel, 35 km over nearly 12 hours!! hot dinner, hot showers, no tent tonight proper nights sleep on a bed!!
up early next morning, get breakfast head out to get our photos up close to the glaciar, when we are met with the infamous winds and rains of patagonia that we had so well evaded till now!! only a dim outline of the glaciar can be seen, we decide better head back can´t miss that ferry as we trek back the 11 km over 3 hours i felt like quoting forest gump who described the small rain, big ole fat rain, and rain that seemed to come up from underneath, caue i can tell you, there wasn't one part of me or my bag that was dry by time we reached the ferry!! an hour later, we were greeted as returning heroes from the wars by rest of our crew, more hot showers n dry clothes awaited us, we missed our guide's Ale's cooking!!! back to the tents that night, but with the full satisfaction of knowing we did it!!;)