Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
Trip Start Feb 13, 2009
14Trip End Jun 30, 2009
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I arrived in Torres del Paine to 90 km per hour winds. Now I know Patagonia is meant to be windy, but come on! I was seriously doubting my ability to go hiking in such winds...I can hear my RBS colleague Jason Hughes telling me to stop being such a wimp ;-) Luckily, the winds blew themselves out for my first day of walking.
As has been the trend so far, I was still following my parents around. They were in Torres del Paine too. It wasn´t planned, so it was a nice surprise for my dad and I to be able to walk the first 2 days of the W Hike together. The W hike is so called because it is in the shape of a W. It took me 4 days to do and was fantastic. The first day my dad and I met some Welsh girls at the base of the Paine Towers...Jenny and Ann Marie. They were doing the same route at the same time, so it was quickly decided that I would continue my hiking with them once mum and dad went onwards to Santiago.
What surprised me about Torres del Paine was the wind. It was very unpredictable..it would gust up to 70km per hr without any warning, and then die down just as quickly. Fine if you weren´t on one of the narrow ridges!
Valle del Frances was the highlight - this was day 3. It was 10.5 hours walking, and Jenny, Ann Marie and I were longing for a beer and food toward the end of it..another hour and it could have been sense of humour failure :-) There was a glacier in the valley and we were lucky enough to be passing it around 4pm, when it had warmed up and you could hear the boom of the ice and see the avalanche following. Wow! Very impressive. I never realised how many glaciers Argentina and Chile have!
I am really glad I met up with Jenny and Ann Marie, we got along so well, and talked about everything under the sun, as only girls can. Hopefully we will do the same in Wales on my return. My rucksack has now been tried and tested so I look forward to the Inca Trail in April.