Hiking in Torres del Paine national park

Trip Start Mar 15, 2006
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Trip End Dec 20, 2006


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Monday, December 4, 2006

From Chalten I caught the bus back to Calafate, then across the border to Puerto Natales in Chile. I hired some trekking gear and set off for 4 days ašlong the W track (half of the Torres circuit). I had been a bit apprehensive about trekking on my own, but found the trail to be quite crowded. I hiked with some people I had met at my hostel in Natales. The weather wasn{t fantastic, but the park was nice, and quite different from Los Glacieres national park. the first day is was a slimy scramble uphill in the rain to refugio Chileno, where we left our backpacks and then headed up to see the famous Torres del Paine. It was snowing a little by the time we reached the top, but the views were still nice. I was pretty keen to see the towers changing colours at sunrise, so got up at a quarter to three in the morning to hike up again for the 5am sunrise, but unfortunately the weather was cloudy so I didn{t go. This was probably a good thing as I spoke to a couple later who had a miserable 5 hour ordeal over the slippery boulders in the dark only to arrive to poor views of the towers.
The next day we hiked through varied terrain along blue glacial lakes to refugio Los Cuernos.
The third day we hiked part of the way up French valley for views of the glacier, and witnessed an avalanche like I've never seen before. We then had an easy hike to lake Pehoe, walking through the beautiful red firebushes.
On the fourth day I walked part of the way to glacier Grey, before returning to Pehoe for the ferry and bus back to Puerto Natales.
From here it will be a long trip back to Australia- two bus rides, and 4 plane trips!
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