Puerto Montt, Puerto Natales, Torres Del Paine
Trip Start Aug 23, 2012
37Trip End Ongoing
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The organization gods were good to us in Puerto Natales and we were able to get all of our gear and food together quicker than planned. On the 19th we set off into Torres Del Paine National Park for a self-guided 5 day trek called the ‘W’. For those interested, it’s the red-route on the map I’ve included.
The usual squabbles over which way to go were quickly overshadowed by what food we should eat during the hike – each of us having a vested interest in food coming out of our own backpack to make them lighter. To our dismay, the world did not end on 21 Dec as predicted which meant that we did not really have enough food. It was a nice change to have to eat half a packet of chocolate biscuits to make sure we had enough energy / calories to make it to the next camp rather than eating half a packet of chocolate biscuits because ‘it’s Christmas’. Needless to say, we will not be eating porridge or chocolate for a very long time. There were opportunities to buy some food along the way but we couldn’t bring ourselves to pay $4USD for a can of coke.
The scenery throughout our entire trek was absolutely amazing; despite some pretty shocking weather at times, we had near perfect weather for the 2 main highlights – the French Valley and the summit to see the Torres at the end. Given our timing, our only option to see the Torres was a dawn summit. Following a 4am wake-up, I found myself hiking up to the mirrador alone at 4:40am after Daryn proclaimed I was crazy, stole my sleeping bag and went back to sleep; luckily there were some other crazy people doing the climb to keep me company. By this point, we had run out of food so my breakfast consisted of peanut butter mixed with an unidentifiable fruit jam and a few flakes of instant porridge; not great but it was enough to get me to the top and give me the patience I needed to wait an hour in the freezing to get a decent picture of the Torres. Actually, that’s a lie - I wasn’t patient, I was just too cold to move.
As you might have guessed, this isn’t a live blog, I’m writing this on the 24th of Dec as we make our way back into Argentina to El Chalten where we will spend Christmas hopefully do some relaxing day-hikes to see Mount Fitz Roy and of course some equally relaxing drinking and overeating.
Next stop – Bariloche – a quick 20 hour bus ride over 2 days… Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas; cheers to a safe, happy and healthy 2013! Jana & Daryn x