Trip Start Sep 01, 2005
163Trip End Dec 04, 2006
The next morning was painful with muscles aching from the 9 hours of steep hill treks the previous day. Because of the rush to get to camp last night, we ran down steep hills with our full packs on, and incidentally I injured my right knee joint. Pain was settling in fast but we pushed on towards the Cuernos Del Paine. This scenery was amazing with lakes, abundant wildlife, dramatic mountains and fresh mountain water. This helped a lot as we were drinking like fish to keep hydrated since the weather changed hot and cold at random. With our spirits in tatters we urged the French guys (Alex y Humbert) to go ahead as due to my injury we were keeping them back. Joined by Virgil a fellow trekker from New York, we trekked with spirit and before we knew it, reached the crossroad - the high road to Chilleno which was another 1.5 hours away or the low road to Los Torres, only an hour down hill. We debated and figured if we didn't go up the hill now, then it would be virtually impossible to complete the trek tomorrow as it was too long; we marched on. Amber with her with sleeping maps tied onto her backpack made her look like Rocket Girl which seemingly propelled her up the mountains. Now the thing is that the track leads up towards the next hill and when you reach that it goes down and then up towards an even higher point
Seven hours later, close to tears, aches and pains and legs that could not take a step more, we arrived at Chilleno camp and reunited with Alex and Humbert who were refuelling for their final stretch and minutes later by Virgil, no man was left behind. Alex and Humbert went on to the next camp to guarantee a sunrise the next morning, whereas we barely had the energy to put our tent up that night.
The 3rd and final day pushed us the hardest. Amber with her hurt ankles and sore back and I with my torn knee joints, we set off with Virgil at the crack of dawn to see the Torres del Paine after a cup of Cream of Spinach soup (portable stoves are the best thing ever). It took two hours with the last hour of climbing on all fours to reach the mirador. With shady rocks and random gusts of wind, there were parts where safety was an issue.
But once we finally made it to the top, it was worth it. With the wind growling the sight was breathtaking. I sat there opened my pack and chow-ed down on a packet of honeyed corn flakes and Amber with her well deserved piece of chocolate. The hike back was just as tough
Sadly after returning to Puerto Natales we discovered that the bus we rushed so fast to get to was full so we made alternate arrangements to get to Punta Arenas. Not much was happening in the big town except that we got to taste some lovely Chilean Merlots and chow down on a home cooked beef roast that our new friends cooked for us.