Day 19 (Torres del Paine)
Trip Start Feb 13, 2007
61Trip End Apr 13, 2007
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First the bus times as promised (2nd bus in brackets)
1st bus leaves puerto natales 07:30 (14:30)
Laguna amarga 09:45 (16:30)
Pudeto 11:00 (17:30)
Admin centre 12:00 (18:00)
Then goes back at 12:45 (18:00)
pudeto 13:15 (waits for boat) (18:30)
Laguna amarga 14:45 (19:45)
Puerto natales 17:30 (22:30)
We got up after the rush, had breakfast in peace and quite, and started the trek to the base of the Torres del Paine, it wasn't a great weather day, overcast, rain in the air
From Chileno its an hour to campameto torres, and from there its 45 min up to the towers
The hour walk is through forests, meandering along the river, beautiful scenery, surrounded by huge snow covered mountains, its easy going
The 45 min to the top took us just over an hour, its heavy going, but we had time on our side, that said the weather wasn't so great and we couldn't stuff around, it was getting colder, intermittent rain, the weather bordered on extreme, and it was just climb, climb, climb, it got steeper and steeper, and it was over rocks, such tiring stuff
"Mountain Sylvia" led the way, and set the pace, she did a great job
By the time we reached the top the weather was pretty vicious, very cold, fleeces and rainjackets on, rain was stinging from the gusty wind
But it didn't matter, we were at the base of the towers, its outrageously beautiful, stunning, the snow, the 3 granite towers, the lake, the huge rocks, a sight to behold, photos abound in every direction
The walk back is much easier, down requires concentration, but is quicker
Albergue chileno is a welcome sight, and respite from the cold and rain, 2 bottles of fine Chilean red ease away the pain
If you can fit it into a holiday, trek the towers of pain, if you dare...
"!@%$^& ... It was hard going up, and memories of our abseiling trek in south africa came flooding back,where adrian had to push me up that hill, with me swearing (i say hill because that was simple compared to climbing up this mountain!). There were lots of people to talk to along the way, and some of the comments were: "he must take you on a beach holiday next", "I can see you are being dragged along on this trek" and "he owes you that 3 course meal tonight" and so forth. So needless to say adrian owes me big for springing this on me when we were already here, and TOO late to pull out! Maybe a cruise ship holiday next.... We shall see ...
BUT in the next breath I can say it was worth all the huffing and puffing and can add it to my list of accomplishments in life - I trekked the Torres del Paine. That makes it worthwhile and gives me enough encouragement to trek all the way back tomorrow."