Blogs from Torres del Paine, Magallanes, Chile, South America - page 13

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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine April 7th 2010

We set off at 8am and had a 6 hour hike (the longest stint with our packs so far) to our lunchtime resting point. 10 minutes in I had to give Sophie a quick pep talk and show her the map, proving that carrying on rather than retreating backwards was shorter. The path from sea level to 750m was a steep one, but our korfing fitness allowed us to power ahead of Duncan and Mahnee (and many other trekkers) on the inclines. We arrived at our lunch stop (a refugio) looking forward to another bottle of Fanta, only to discover it had closed for the season and having to make do with glacial water. Having arrived ahead of schedule, we decided we would make the summit (the viewing point for the park’s name sake - Torres ... read more
Post pep talk!
Safety first!
Torres del Paine

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine April 6th 2010

We awoke to what we thought was pouring rain and struggled to dress inside our tiny tent. Turned out it was merely spitting with rain, amplified by the tent. Me, Duncan and Mahnee has dry Cheerios and leftover pasta for breakfast while Sophie turned her nose up and stuck to the cereal option. Although we’d put all of our food in a sealed box in the kitchen area, Duncan’s pack still got nibbled by the mice. An hour into our hike, the weather turned very wet and windy, and stayed that way until we reached the campsite at the base of the second leg, where we stopped for a snack and a cup of tea for the others. The ranger at the campsite advised us that the weather was bad and that it was be potentially ... read more
Waterfalls and rapids
Sunny in the Valley!
Glacier Frances

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine April 6th 2010

El Calafate - Puerto Natales - Torres Del Paine - Puerto Natales - El Calafate ¡Hola all! After a cancelled trip to the Perito Moreno Galcier and two cancelled bus rides, the trip continues!! We finally made it into Chile to take on the W trek through the Torres del Paine national park. Can´t recall a time that we wanted to leave a town or hostel quite as much...! Not that Calafate was bad, it was just twice as long as we wanted (and budgeted) to stay. And to be fair, as Catherine was so sick when we were there, I was really bored. It started out with a 5.5 hour bus ride from El Calafate in Argentina to Puerto Natales in Chile. Scrutiny at the border was so extreme, the police officer that checked the ... read more
Walk to the beginning of the W
W Walk Day 1
W Walk Day 1

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine April 5th 2010

Frustratingly, with bags all packed, Sophie and I had to sit around until mid-morning as there is only one ferry a day to our start point, inconveniently at midday! This gave the 4 of us opportunity to practice setting up the new "lightweight" tent (so called because it was about the third of the size as the ones we’d been sleeping in). When we arrived at the lake the others took photos from the bus to avoid standing in the rain with us and our 10-12 kg packs. We laughed at Duncan wearing only shorts and t-shirt, but 20 minutes into our trek, Sophie, Mahnee and I had to strip down to trousers and -shirt from 5 layers on our top halves and 3 layers on our legs. The map indicated we had 7 hours of ... read more
The W trek
The 4 Adventurers
Glacier Grey

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine April 4th 2010

After expecting another boring day of driving to get to the Torres del Paine National Park (via Puerto Natales to stock up on provisions) we were very excited to come across a lake full of flamingos. A few people watched from the truck as the rest of us clambered over a barbed wire fence to stalk the flamingos, all for that perfect photo, which wasn’t really captured on our 3 x zoom cameras! We arrived at our campsite in the national park, located in beautiful surroundings by Lake Pehoe, in good time to empty out our big rucksacks and re-pack with the essentials for the next few days. Chris, myself, Mahnee and Duncan (who had joined us in Puerto Madryn to train up as the new truck driver) were the only 4 who had opted to ... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine March 31st 2010

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" FDR 1933. It would not be an underestimation to suggest that Tracy was somewhat apprehensive about tackling the W trek. A nasty experience in Scotland had spooked her, and left her with a fear of hiking in mountains. Nevertheless, several days ago we boarded a 5am bus from our hostel in El Calafate (Argentina) and headed to southern Chile and our destination - the Torres del Paine national park, biosphere reserve and world heritage site. The Torres del Paine is considered a highlight of South America. It includes mountains, extinct volcanos, lakes, woodlands and glaciers. Most people who visit hike across the park, although there are several day trips. The two main hikes are the Main Circuit (approx 10 days) and the W trek (4 to ... read more
The Bystanders
Day 1 - To the mirador
Day 1 - At the top!

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine March 6th 2010

In his “Motorcycle Diaries”, Che Guevara states as follows: “Chilean hospitality, as I never tire of saying, is one reason traveling in our neighboring country is so enjoyable. (...) As usual, Chilean hospitality wiped us out.” And I can only confirm that it is true. I met Julio in Torres del Paine National Park when he asked me if I could take a picture of him with his camera. We started talking and it turned out that he was traveling for a month on his motorbike through Southern Chile and his intention was to get to know his home country a bit better. In the end we spent the whole day walking around Perito Moreno together. We also found out that we were supposed to travel on the same route for a while as we both ... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine March 6th 2010

...is the Mapuche word for describing the blue colour of the glacier.... read more
guanaco
baby guanaco
one more panorama

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine March 2nd 2010

When I first decided to travel round the world for a year or so, one of my greatest concerns was how I would manage to get around South America when I didn't really speak the language. The idea of doing it all on my own, and the risk of ending up in the wrong location, or even the wrong country, was a little concerning. So, I booked a three week trip though Patagonia with a tour company known as Tucan, thinking that easing into the solo trips might be a good idea. Of course, after I arrived in Argentina I went off and explored Iguazu and Mendoza by myself, so I was feeling a lot more confident in my abilities to find my way around South America by the time I flew south to Ushuaia to ... read more
Ushuaia Town
Charles' own Beer
The Beagle Channel

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine February 27th 2010

We left Ushuaia heading towards Punta Arenas on a bus leaving at 6am and taking about 12 hours. The journey was fairly uneventful, but some of the tundra scenery was lovely to see. When we finally arrived in Punta Arenas we were unsure what to do, I think we were a little punch drunk from the trip, so we wandered around for half an hour not finding a place to stay, however we didn't really look that hard, and finally decided to move on to Puerto Natales, so booked a ticket and left about an hour or so later. When we arrived in Puerto Natales it was late, gone eleven, but the bus was met by a hoard of Hostel owners touting for business, we chose Hostel Nancy, and were driven to the hostel where we ... read more
Ram, Liz, Byron and Marika
Orange Michelin Men
Camp site Rio Serrano




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