Blogs from Torres del Paine, Magallanes, Chile, South America

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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 7th 2019

R: Today was a day of multiple walks. The weather was only slightly better than yesterday and was still cold and windy. We were heading to Lago Grey today, so after much the same breakfast as yesterday, we boarded the bus and were on our way. It was about 40 minutes to get to Grey ranger station where there is also a visitor centre. The group had been split today as many people who were not used to hiking had decided to go for the easy walk option around the lake. Me? Well, no. I went in the advanced party of 4 who went to tackle the Ferrier lookout. We were promised amazing views over numerous lakes, and a very steep climb! We set off from the visitors centre with our guide Mauricio, Sergio (the Swiss ... read more
Lago Grey Icebergs
Lago Pehoe
Lago Pehoe and the view behind

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 6th 2019

R: Today was our first big walk. With alarms set to 6am, we were up and moving. Chef had prepared us a huge breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon with toast, accompanied by yoghurts and much strong coffee in a large kettle which was resting in the camp fire. For the next few days we would be provided with lunch options before we set off for hikes and a table had been set up in one of the lean-to shelters on the campsite with bread rolls, sliced meat, cheese, salad and huge bowls of smashed avocados and mayonnaise - a make your own sandwich buffet. Plus trail mix, chocolate and fruit. The amount of avocados in the bowl in the UK would have cost about £30 - but in South America, it was probably a much ... read more
The two person rope bridge
Windy Gap and Pass
Horse Caravan

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 5th 2019

The next morning we were up early and out. It was raining quite a bit now so heading into the national park seemed a bit flat. But people were still enthusiastic so that was good. We travelled on a bright yellow, private overland vehicle. My sub-section of the group ended up at the "party" end of the bus which had train style tables and access to the music and USB ports. The bus came equipped with UNO and various other card games so we whiled away a few hours playing games, and getting to know each other. The bus was really comfy for long journeys however it did have little in the way of heating so the windows misted up with the rain beating against them so it was hard to see out. We stopped at ... read more
Lago Pehoe
Flamingos in the greyness
Setting up camp

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine October 29th 2019

Got up to pop to the loo at around midnight. Comment to anyone who’s listening that the sky is full of stars. Am just having a wee when there’s the sound of a bucketful of water hitting the floor! Maia has been violently sick, stumbles into the bathroom and delivers another load into the sink as I’m on the loo. Awesome! Try to put the light on, but there’s no electricity. Try to flush the loo but there’s no water. David is up and puts the mobile phone light on. Maia and I are trapped in the bathroom by a sea of sick. David throws me a pair of socks so I can try to hop over it back into the bedroom. I go downstairs in the hope or finding someone who can give me some ... read more
New Forest + snow capped mountains
Glorious sunset

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine October 28th 2019

Superb day hiking our longest ever hike to the Mirador Base de las Torres in Torres del Paine, Patagonia. The hotel have kindly prepared an early breakfast for us so that we’re ready for Andrea and Rodolfo to collect us at 7am to drive to the national park. It’s a pleasant two hour journey, but surprisingly it’s less stunning than other trips where we’ve had where we’ve seen more wildlife and mountains. We’re still approaching the Andes, but it’s just a bit less dramatic from this direction. Hiking poles at the ready, we set off at 9.15am and arrange to see Rodolfo again at 6pm...I think I’ve misheard as I didn’t quite realise how long we’d be walking for and now feel a bit nervous about my ability to complete the walk. After 1km we’re hot ... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine October 28th 2019

Líe in - yay! We don’t go down to breakfast until about 8.30 - absolute bliss. Surprisingly we have no aches or pains after yesterday’s exertions, so we’re ready for action. Delicious breakfast including proper mugs of tea and coffee, scrambled eggs and yummy cake. All perfect. Departure time is a leisurely 9.30. We drive through more beautiful countryside to get the Paine - Pudeto catamaran to cross the Pehoe Lake for today’s hike to Mirador Francés. It’s allegedly a 16km return trip. There’s an option to do a 24km hike further up the mountain, but the timing of the ferry at this time of year (11am), doesn’t give us time to do that hike and get back in time for the last ferry of the day 😅. The catamaran trip is half an hour and ... read more
Tree cemetery
View of the Valle Francés on the way up to the Mirador
One at a time hair-raising bridge

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine March 6th 2019

It is a sad fact of life that as I have got older I have developed a greater fear of heights. I stood a few steps on to the narrow suspension bridge as it swung above the steep ravine. The cable sides look no more than knee high from my warped perspective. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go on. I smiled as best I could for Jane to take a photo. I knew it was irrational and I had to cross this bridge to get the glacier ‘mirador’ on the other side. I bent my knees to keep lower and focused on the bridge ahead. Jane waited patiently at the end. Half way across I started to hum and the demons in my brain seem to start to dissipate. I moved on to the old ... read more
Walking back from Grey refugio
Paine Grande camping
Base of the Torres

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine January 31st 2019

Thursday 31 January What a day we had today! We spent from 4.30am (waking) to 9.30pm on a tour to Torres del Paine, a beautiful National Park in southern Patagonia which encompasses mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia. The park is located 112 km north of Puerto Natales where we stopped for morning coffee and 312 km north of Punta Arenas where our guide picked us up. Throughout the day we drove over 800kms stopping at many view pints. The scenery was spectacular, so I hope you enjoy the photos. There were 10 other tourists with us, and we were the only ones who didn’t speak Spanish. However, our guide who was born in Punta Arenas spoke very good English. We certainly needed our duck-down coats even though the sun was shining. At ... read more
Torres Del Paine National Park (251)
Torres d'Agostini, Torres Central and Torres Monzino
Torres Del Paine National Park (249)

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine January 24th 2019

On Tuesday, lunch was put on by our hotel for everyone that was going on the cruise. It was the first chance to meet some of the other passengers, which I did (dad wasn’t hungry so didn’t join us). I was also sitting near Christopher, the bird guy. He is a guide on the ship, but he is also a biologist that specialises in birds and is very knowledgeable! With lunch out of the way, we boarded our buses. Dad and I waited until last and got on a nearly empty bus because everyone had rushed to get on the first two buses for some reason. We didn’t mind as this gave us the opportunity to spread out. Along the way, our local guide, Anna, gave us some information about where we were and what we ... read more
Me, Waiting to Board the Akademik Ioffe
Cloud Forming Over the Horns
Dad, Waiting to Board the Akademik Ioffe

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine January 18th 2019

Actually, it was not one, but two Pumas. But I get ahead of myself… I started Thursday morning feeling better after a night’s sleep, but still not hopeful for the day ahead. We had breakfast and as I was grabbing something from my bag at the entrance to the reception/restaurant building when a staff member interrupted me. I managed to overcome my foul mood and be respectful despite myself. I’m glad I did as she was to be our guide for the tour. Her name was Mayi (pronounced like “magic” but without the “c”) and it turns out she had given up her day off to run the tour. And what a difference a guide makes! Mayi made the excursion a much more enjoyable experience than our Pingo trek. In fairness to Nico, some of this ... read more
A Great Tour Group
Sophie and Dad
Guanaco Beneath the Paine Massif




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