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Published: December 28th 2011
Hit Torres del Paine running. After swanning around on a ship in the Antartica for 12 days not doing a lot of physical exercise, it was then a rude shock to don the pack and tackle a steep climb for two hours to reach our accommodation - Refugio Chileno. Settled in a valley next to a glacier river. The climb into Torres del Paine was worth the effort. Three towers in full view, cloudless perched above a glacier and glacier lake. It was fantastic to spot 2 condours taking advantage of the draft and soaring up in the mountain tops. Next stop was the French Valley which consisted of a long day of walking up and down through forest, rock scrambling, dodging tree roots and bull dust not to mention rickety swing bridges over raging rivers. We were rewarded with a spectacular hanging glacier on Paine Massif. Being such a warm day we witnessed many mini avalanches as the glacier carved. John went on further to the lookout to view the French Valley proper. Then onto Grey Glacier, surprised to,see icebergs floating in the lake, they really looked out of place. The glacier is huge and constantly carving. The surrounding lakes are either brilliant green, turquoise, or milky blue, awesome. Every time you stop and turn around there is another surprise in stall. There are many hikers in the park, some camping, some hotelling or staying in Refugio's. We are hearing Spanish, a lot of American twang and a few Australian slangers. There are a crazy bunch of keen runners running the circuit. Food is plentiful and fat laden. Blue skies and stiff summer winds. Kilometres of up and down, knee popping, muscle soreness, sheer exhaustion and absolutely fantastic! Sleeping with strangers in dorms, snoring, plastic rustling, smelly socks, loud whispers, Velcro........ Our next stop el Calafate, I will keep you posted.
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