Torres Del Paine = amazing trekking!

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March 28th 2013
Published: March 28th 2013
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Yes, I know, it's been a long break between blog updates, but I've been busy trekking amazing Patagonia and it turns out there is no wifi in the middle of no where!! So here is a quick wrap for those who don't want to read the really cool details *I feel in love with a food stand chorizo sausage bun thingy for a mere $13 peso in Buenos Aires ( or just over $2 Aussie bucks ) pretty sure i got got an upset belly from the experience after we watched the pigeons eat from the same food container AFTER we had eaten. Totally worth it though! * crossed the boarder into Chile and met up with my trekking group ( we all met through an online trekking partner site.... I know, it sounds dodgy, turns out they were all real people ) 1 American, 1 Canadian and 3 Aussies. * spent 8 days/ 7 nights trekking Torres del Paine ( TDP) circuit ( plus the tail ) which equals around 130 km or around 60 trekking hours. Got smashed by over 100km winds, the American only made it half way before she broke down and I seen more rainbows then ever before! * I got spoilt on my birthday by finishing the TDP walk, went out for an amazing dinner at an African restaurant and Kristina even made me a cake!!! * checked out a glacier * I'm now in El chalten and tomorrow I'm starting a trekking circuit around Mount Fitz Roy back in Patagonia ( Argentina) * I've met up with Claire again, ill finally tell you what happened!!! Alright, time for the details!!! Chorizo sausage bun thingy - nothing more to say really, was love at first sight. So much love I fact I'm still holding onto it ( on my waist line ) Meeting the trekking group. Ever been on a blind date? Try meeting 4 strangers who your about to spend 7 nights camping with!! Ill give you a quick profile of each person. Row, almost Australian (spent most of her life in Australia), baby of the group (26), from Hobart Tasmania, aka the princess of the group. On a month holiday. Kristina, from Portland, America. Almost 30, super fit, just quit her job and travelling for a few months before deciding what to do next! Simon, a lawyer from Sydney, almost the baby (27), quit his job, travelling for 8 months. Total energiser bunny, and saved my ass many times carrying extra weight as my bag was so heavy Sean, Canadian, an accountant for the government. Oldest of the group ( mid forties) on a few weeks holiday, attended to the princesses needs. We had a really good mix and all got along really well, we did a big group shop to prepare all our meals, we minimised gear to save on weight, so only took 3 tents and two cookers and our game plan was 7 nights, 8 days based on advice from a local hostel. The actual TDP trek The actual trek was amazing. Some of the most beautiful sites, I've attached a few pics, but all my real photos are on my camera which I haven't transferred across. You can wait for those. Day 1.The first day we got bused in on the afternoon and only had to walk 2 hours to camp. A nice easy relaxed start walking in admiring TDP from afar along the tail. We knew the next day was going to be long so we had an early night. Day 2. Up before the sun and packed to go just as the sun got up. Row's bag had been tampered with over night by mice - damage to her journal, her drinking hose and I think some beauty products. It took us about 5 -6 hours to get to our camp site, then we dumped our bags before doing the return trip to see the 360 views from Valle Frances which was another 5 hours. It was well worth the trip to see and we were so lucky with the weather! It was a crazy long day and we got back in to camp around 7 before eating then heading to bed! Row couldn't even stay up for dinner and had it delivered by Sean ( start of the princess thing haha ). Her feet were badly blistered by the end of the day. Day 3 was another early start and our aim was to make it to the closest camp site so we could see the sun rise on the towers the next day. Sean and Row decided they had had enough this day and camped earlier and Simon, Kristina and myself pushed on. My body was feeling it by the end of the day and the last 2 hours walking was in drizzle so it was getting cold. The camp site was really good though and I slept like a baby. It was an interesting night sleep though as Simon and I set the tent up on a lop sided site as we were to tired to find a flat one. It was like sleeping on a slide and we ended up down one end of the tent!! Day 4. An early start to walk an hour in the dark to straight up hill to watch the sunrise on the towers. Lots of people get up to do this and you can imagine how cool it looks seeing all the headlights work their way up the hill! My highlight was seeing the sunrise on the towers!!! Just to be there and take it all in was priceless!! After getting over the excitement of the sunrise it was back to camp to pack up and walk another 8 hours to our next stop. This was a LONG day! Kristina was not in a good way by the end of the day. It was actually a bit scary. For the last few km into camp she slowed right down, her usual beaming smile disappeared and her face said it all. When we actually arrived at camp she deteriorated quickly, uncontrollable shaking, she was freezing, essentially she had gone into shock. This was from a combination of things, dehydration, not enough food and the growth of a testicle which was later removed in hospital ( ill save that story for the next entry). So nurse Belinda and Simon were to the rescue, we got the electrolytes out, hot water, wrapped her in our sleeping bags and then I rubbed her back and told her it would be ok ( my nurse skills are poor, but I'm pretty sure the back rubbed saved her). The goodness is she pulled up ok, but not well enough the next day to go on. Day 5. The wind turned on today in true Patagonia style! My tent even bent from the wind. Kristina had to make the trek back to the safety of the last camp so she could exit the circuit. Simon was kind enough to walk her a few km back to make sure she was well enough to get all the way. I waited a camp for Simon to return so that we had safety in numbers. Row and Sean continued on to try and beat the bad weather that was coming. When Simon returned we started our way around the back end of the circuit with a friend we made along the way, Jeff, another American. We had to go over a pass that day and we got struck with 100km winds and heavy rain!! It was so bad we almost had to turn back. We had to wear sunglasses to protect our eyes from the force of the rain and as it was so cold it felt like razor blades on my face. I honestly thought I was getting cut. The rain came on so quickly we didn't have time to put on our wet gear and we got wet through, puddles in my boots!! The force of the wind had my walking on a 45 degree angle up the side of the mountain to stop me getting blown over. Twice I got knocked down ( and that's with almost 20 kilo on my back) at that point I was not having fun. We still had 4 hours to get to camp. I couldn't bend my fingers from the cold and as I was wet through I couldn't get warm. So we walked quick to keep warm and when the rain let up briefly we stripped off our wet tops and put on dry ones and our water proof jackets so that at least we could warm a little. 2 hours later we made it to camp and the rain finally stopped! A crazy day! Something ill never forget! The wind stuck around so our clothes dried before the next day. We spent the evening by the fire in the warm hut before they pretty much kick u out back to your tents. Day 6. A perfect day, only 4.5 hours of walking to a perfect campsite along side a river. We had plenty of time to relax and cooked our dinner by the water!! As the end of the trek drew near Sean and Row decided to extend their time on the trek and walk out slower then originally planned.

Day 7. Today Simon and I headed for the final camp site and said good bye to Row and Sean. Today was a big day climbing up the famous pass on the back of the circuit. After the crazy weather we had doing the pass a few days earlier i was not looking forward to it, however it was great weather with no wind. When we got to the top you seen Grey's glacier which looked so perfect with a rainbow pointing directly in the middle. It looked like a perfect back drop for a movie. The next few hours were spent walking alongside the glacier to our next camp. It was the first time I'd seen a glacier and we stopped so often to just sit and admire it!! This was my fav walking day!! That night we chatted with some cool American guys exchanging trekking stories and I kicked Simon's butt at cards! A perfect last night as a 32 year old also!
Day 8. I woke up older and it was nice to get a " happy birthday " from Simon before I even got out of bed! It was a short 3.5 hour walk out to our boat ride back to reality. The wind picked up again on this day and I was glad it was behind us. The boat ride out was about 30 minutes, then a 3 hour bus ride back to town! A seriously amazing trek!!! Do it!! Homemade cake. I was lucky Kristina never made it all the way round the trek as it meant she had time to bake me a cake at the hostel!!!!! Spoilt!! Turns out I've written to much, it's 1am in the morning and I have to get up at 7 to pack for the next trekking circuit. I promise to give you the Claire update next time and also the update on Kristina's testicle! I was to lazy to re read this to see if it made sense. Hopefully it does!! Stay tuned for the next blog!!! B X

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