W is also for......Woeful.....


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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine
February 17th 2018
Published: February 17th 2018
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There is no way I can share the last 6 days in detail, it would make pretty sad reading. I knew the trek was going to be “jolly hard work”, maybe “a physical challenge of unprecedented proportions”, or maybe even “dreadful”. So why and how did I come to be on it at all when I had said quite clearly and loudly last September when the subject first reared it’s troublesome head in the Lowe household those immortal and much ignored words: “I AM NOT DOING THE W TREK”.

Now I am not a difficult person and have used this sort of direct language only rarely in the last 30 years and one would like to think that my clear and unenthusiastic response would at least have been noted. But somehow (and I have yet to unearth how he did it) I found myself tottering to Puerto Natales bus station at 0630 on Thursday morning carrying all my worldly goods, half a ton of food, camping kit and an emergency blanket and whistle that was a kind present from Liz and Paul on the event of my 60th birthday.

I have been considering how best to attempt to convey to the outside world the real truth of the last 6 days, so not as to suggest that Pete’s version is purely fantasy, when quite clearly the man is delusional. Now as you will know I am not one to make a drama out of a silk purse but when there is drama then the truth should be told.

SO....how to proceed? I seem to have a few options for the theme of the blog, none of which are ideal.

1.“The top 10 most hilarious things that happened on the W trek?” ...pretty short blog that would be.

2.“Reasons why I am so pleased that I DID go on the W trek despite saying I didn’t want to?”. None. This is not strictly true but there's nothing wrong with a bit of dramatic licence.

3.“Blisters I have known... (to pop or not to pop, that is the question)”. Pop, always pop.

4.“Would it be a shame or a relief to be eaten by a puma...and how to make it happen”. Relief, just get on with it on Day 1.

I have two snippets of Life on the W to share with you. The first happened on Day 2 when we had successfully, after 7 hours of walking up and down slopes of Himalayan proportions, reached Glacier Grey, which was indeed impressive and we were returning to Tiny Tim for a slap-up meal of freeze dried Bolognese (yum). Pete was being his normal happy chappie self, I was some way behind, cursing, when he turned and said the immortal and totally Pete-ish words...”did I just hear you singing?”.......just what is the matter with that man?

The next day I was at one point alone and lost. I was happy to be alone (Pete was jogging up to a lookout and was planning to catch me up (as if he could...)) but I was NOT happy to be lost. The track marks had led me to a beach where there were no further marks and because the beach was made up of boulders there were no footprints to follow. I have seen enough David Attenborough programmes to know that it is at this point, when the poor old female buffalo is separated from the herd that all sorts of things start to circle, ready to move in to attack. So I pulled my shoulders back so I looked slightly less like a forlorn buffalo and sat down to think about a strategy. “When they find my bones they’ll be sorry” was dismissed as attention seeking and as I have a non negotiable dancing date in August I just plodded on, ready to see off a puma or a vulture, across a river, and eventually found myself back on the track. In conversation later that night, seems that everyone gets lost there.......so why is there no marker? Good point!

But all things will pass and a happier time is here. Today we went canoeing in Lago Grey to find that a few very large chunks of the glacier had broken off as icebergs and we could paddle around them. Water was a bit chilly but thanks to my expert canoeing we managed not to capsize. Pete was of course keen to practice our Eskimo roll but I had the deciding vote (at last).

It’s a surprise to us all that all three of us (Pete, me and our marriage) survived the W trek. Let’s hope that our challenges during the rest of trip will be small ones........

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18th February 2018

Yup - even MORE ghastly than I thought
Oh well done Jan for the real unexpurgated version - I had to say i did read Pete's with a panful of salt, altoghether too cheery by half. I hadb't rrealised that you'd made i quite so CRYSTAL clear that you WERE NOT DOING THE W TREK, so obviously there's a bit of work to do on communication in your marriage (or on Pete's hearing). I laughed out loud at Pete's asking you if he'd heard you singing - only Pete - but what we ALL need to know is what you said in reply... A 'reason to be pleased you did it' muct surely include the fact that you can dine out on it till the day you die, and you can embellish it with impunity each time of telling until you actually do get eaten by that Puma. I think the comparison to a female buffalo is harsh, btw. David A would say that type of things would happen to ANYTHING separated from the herd, so what about a lone armadillo? You know they like chocolate whereas we're not sure about a bison's predilections, so that seems to fit much better. And of course they're much more attractive. The photos are UTTERLY WOW, I must say. Glad that happier times are here! Px
20th February 2018

Intrepid or What?
Hikarious blogs (and versions of the W), hiw very intrepid you both are. I will have to rename our campervan trip in NZ “glamping deluxe down under”! Hope your feet recover Jan! Neil and Kate x
6th March 2018

I told you it was like Mordor
Well done on getting round the W, the march up to Torres was all we could manage. Probably for the best that you didn't see any puma's as they are likely to be hungry down there. The photos are great and the weather looks good so on the whole you have been very lucky, can't wait to hear more.
6th March 2018

Was thinking of you all the round...
Good to hear from you and hope all is well. We saw your posh place at the end of the W and called it Doug's house whenever we discussed it. All well dressed and non smelly people were obvs staying at Doug's house!

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