Torres del Paine

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January 19th 2011
Published: February 6th 2011
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No wonder why they call it Torres del Paine, because it gives you pain, much pain. We started out on a beautiful sunny day with high spirits and excitment. That did not last very long. As soon as we set up our tent we headed out for our first long hike. The begining of the hike was beautiful with clear skies. About an hour into our hike the rain started and did not end. We were still in high spirits thought because we had rain gear and didnt mind some wetness. After the third hour of it raining hard non stop we made it to the final destination. We took a few pics then made our long way back down to our tent. By the time the fifth hour came of non stop rain we were not feeling quite so optimistic. Our rain gear was soaked through, it was freezing outside, and we still had another hour to go, and a long hour at that. We finally made it back to the tent and didn´t leave our tent until the next morning.
Day 2- We woke up to everything still soaked and our spirits low. This is not what I though it was going to be like. It was raining again and we were not up for another rain filled day. We knew we had to continue on anyway. We packed up our gear and prepared to leave as soon as the rain let up. About half way through the day it did and we made a sprint for it. We hiked about one hour then the rain started again. It was only another hour to the camp spot and by that time it was really coming down so we set up are tent and planned to wait it out.
Day 3- We woke early praying that the rain would be calmer in the morning, then started out on another long hike. About an hour into the hike it started but this time with the wind as well. The rain was pelting us in the face and it was not looking good. We made it to the first mirador (lookout spot) then had to make the choice if we wanted to turn around or continue in the rain. We decided to push on a little more through the forest but as soon as the forest covering was over we turned around. When we made it back to camp we packed up and waited for a break in the rain so we could make it to the next campsite. This time our problem wasn´t the rain but the wind. All night long the wind would blow so hard that our tent would almost be completly sideways. I dont know how the pulls didn´t snap in half but we survived the night with little sleep and low spirites once again.
Day 4- By this time I was ready to get out of the park and go home. But we woke with no rain and a beautiful rainbow over an amazing lake. For the first time since we arrived I realized how beautiful this place really is. We told each other that we would hike as long as possible until the rain started. And hike we did! We ended up hiking seven hours non stop, with our packs, to the top of the mountain. It was not an easy hike and we wore both aching by the time we finished but we had no rain! It was a great day and for the first time in four days I was actually having a little fun. Our camp site was at the base of the trail to view the Torres (towers). We fell asleep at six that night, exhausted.
Day 5- Last Day!!!! We awoke at 3:30 am to hike to the torres to see the sunrise. The hike was about an hour in the dark and not very well marked. The only marker in the trail were reflecter poles. We would make it to one pole, spend another couple minutes looking for the next, then hike on. We were the first ones at the top and it was still very dark out. As time went on more and more people started to show up and the sun was coming. As soon as the sun hit the torres it made everything worth while. They turned a redish glow color and we sat and watched them for about an hour like it was a movie, and a great movie at that. After we went backwe packed up our stuff, then made the hike out of the park. When we were almost out we noticed the rain start overhead. The last little hike is part of the road so we hitched hike out just in time to miss the rain. We were feeling sorry for everyone who was at the top get drenched.
All in all the trek was very difficult but nice. It would be an amazing hike if the weather was only a little better, but I guess you just cant have it all.

Additional photos below
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7th February 2011

Great pictures. Any advice?
Love the pictures. We are going this week and I have yet to make my plans. All we have is the ticket to Santiago. We decided to go to Punta Arenas, then to Torres del Paine. So I am deciding on how to get there. I'm thinking we'll take Skyairline from Santiago to Arenas, then get a bus tour to Torres del Paine, we should be able to get lodging there, i hope. I'm not sure how many days to stay there. I'm thinking 5 days should be enough, since I have to set up the plane flight back to Santiago. Any advice, I sure would appreciate it. Thanks.

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