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Published: December 14th 2007
Hey - sorry but are prob bored silly with so many updates together.
Went over the border - everyone´s luggage searched--- I was dreading them opening mine as it takes me forever jumping on it to close it... I fluttered my eye lashes when he asked if I had any food in it and hurrah, he did not open mine. Opened most others and found lots of salami, meats and fruit. Silly people were fined.
Arrived at the park Torres Del Paines - most visited National PArk in Chile maybe even SA. I had not done much research on it and had booked a hostel in the next town for that night. However after chatting to people on the bus that were staying in the park for five or six days as it so amazing - I felt that I was making a total balls of it... But accomodation is seriously limited and most people camp. I have zero capming stuff. The guide on the bus said I could get off the bus with my stuff and hike to the lodging area and if I could not get a bed to come back the the drop off point five hours later
On my way to Torres Del Paine
You can see the "towers" in the background. Was a very windy day, hair all over the place!
and he would bring me to the next town. His English was not too hot and my Spanish unfortunately is def not hot! Anyway, I was a little concerned at the craziness of this - the lodging area was 7 kms away... I could easily hike that after my 35km adventure--- but my blooming backpack is so heavy and I have not had to carry it hardly at all so far (taxis are sooooooooo cheap)... One other person got off the bus - an english guy living in Sydney. He had accomodation booked for five nights... So off we set - the scenery is amazing and the first km went fine, I was thinking no problem. The next half km killed me - up major hills, sun shining, rally gravelly dusty trail... I´m totally dying. Also Jeremy is mad keen to learn my entire life story. Seriously I could hardly breathe never mind, talk, walk, keep balance and sweat! I heard an engine... I looked around..... I thought this is it, I´m going to hitch hike... but dam it, I chickened out... BUT! Wait for it... they stopped (4 x 4 with four people in it and lots of luggage
in the boot area.... they signaled "do you want a lift?", I nodded feriously - Jeremy turned to me and said "is this cheating?" - I grunted "NO!" and was already half in. He climbed in then. Hey, I had just met him, I had zero loyalty! Three Israeli girls and one guy - seriously, I think this was my reward for celebrating Honika! I was so happy - in my hot, sweaty, red faced, breathless state! Went to the first hostel-lodging type place and after some hymmming and hawing they found a bed for me! Hurrah - if not I think I would have had to walk back the way we came in. Oh and when J realised how far more we had and all the hills, he said he was delighted with the lift.
Anyway, Jeremy checked into the other place and then we said we would go for lunch in the hotel about a 15 walk away. Two bottles of wine later, on couches in front of the biggest fire I have ever seen (wait till you see the photo!) and a gorgeous Christmas tree.... I decided that no hiking for me today. I´m thinking grand, will get up early in the morn and do a four hour hike and be back for the shuttle bus at 2 to the park entrance to get to the town I was supposed to be in that night. Had no number so could not cancel the room either.
Anyway - got chatting to a guy who was walking by and he is from Mayo and is going to do the marathon and a 100km run in Antartica for the Cancer society. Mark is an absolute pet - he is with a group of 12 - almost all of them will be creating some record for the Guinness book of records. One guy will have run marathons in all seven continents (or is it six? whoops two bottles of wine at this stage!)withing 33 days or something like that, another will be first woman... such a cool group. They invited us to join them for dinner and had a brilliant time.
However by the time we were leaving - there was a crazy storm going on - and the 15 min walk in the dark and the storm and far too much wine was not a good idea. A gang of us took a room in the hotel... so basically I had already paid for two beds for that night and did not sleep in either!
Next day was ok but weather was not great - I did some small hikes around the base. The Antartica crew invited me to go with them to Punta Arenas and since I had no plans thought why not. So off I went in the mini bus with three americans, three british, Mayo guy, Derry guy and a driver that was so dodgy! We were pulled over by the police and held for over half an hour.... in the middle of a desert... scary.
Had great fun - they are all crazy and had great night out last night with them in a funny nightclub.
Wandered around for a few hours today the town and then flew to Puerto Montt - two hours flight north. Decided against going further south as have had enough of the cold. Need some beaches and surf now. Going to Pucon tomorrow and hike a live volcano and then on to Santiago in a few days time. Sorry for no emails... internet is so slow and I´m usually running around like a mad thing.
Hope all is well, Lx
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