Puerto Natales & Torres del Paine
Trip Start Mar 28, 2006
94Trip End Ongoing
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Good start to the year. Up with like 2 hours sleep, and on a bus ride first thing from El Calafate to Puerto Natales.
The scenary was typical patagonian, flat, dry, dusty and not much to look at to be honest. The highlights in patagonia ar definately stunning, but it reminds me alot of Australia. Such great distances with absolutely nothing worth looking at inbetween.
We got off the bus and got taken to a hostel by one of the most cooky girls ive even met. Slightly mentally retarded if im going to be 100% honest about it.
Phillip and Robert arrived about an hour later on another bus, we got them, checked them into the loco hostel and went out to rent tents and things we would need for the famous Torres del Paine 5 day W trek
It was a public holiday due to new years, so we couldnt get any food until the morning. So we booked our bus out to the national park at 2:30pm in the afternoon, sorted what clothes and things to take with us and headed out for a big meal of pizza. The last decent meal for 5 days!
2nd January- 6th January
The morning of the 2nd involved simply buying food, packing and stuffing our faces again before being picked up at 2:30pm to be driven to the park which is abit over two hours away from town.
The Torres del Paine W circuit
Day 1 - 9.5km Hosteria Las Torres to Campamento Torres
Day 2 - 20.5km Campamento Torres - Mirador - Refugio Los Cuernos
Day 3 - 20.5km Los Cuernos - Campamento Italiano - Mirador - Campamento Italiano
Day 4 - 22.6 km Campamento Italiano - Campamento Los Guardas
Day 5 - 15km Campamento Los Guardas - Refugio Lago Pehoe
Total km: 88.1km
5 days of tough walking, fully loaded with packs, sometimes for 8-10 hours a day
Its going to be impossible to describe the 5 days, so the pictures will have to do it justice, buts its one of the most beautiful places ive been on my trip. You can also feel the remoteness, really being in the middle of nowhere.
The one negative thing I will say, is that with all these refugios they have along the trail, it basically allows anyone to do the hike, not carry food, get to a refugio and have a shower and eat. For some people that might be what they want, but I think part of the experience and appreciation of the hike and the things you see come from it not being so easy, and from it pushing your body to the point where your feet feel like they will drop off, and your shoulders will collapse from the weight of your pack as you climb another hill
There is also the point that the free camping sites we stayed in where better than where you had to pay, and in areas of the park that were much more beautiful also.
Every area of the hike was beautiful in its own way. Huge granite towers, little creeks and streams where you could stop to get more drinking water, waterfalls, lakes both big and small some of which were the most amazing blues that people will think the photos are photoshopped, sleeping next to and eating breakfast next to the face of our own private glacier, the cold nights and the ever howling wind.
Torres del Paine, truely an experience, and if your ever going to do it, do it the hard way and lug your own gear, it will make it that much more rewarding.
At the end of the hike we took a ferry across Lago Pehoe to get the bus back to town where we had showers (first in 5 days) dinner and went to sleep for the first time in 4 nights without being freezing cold.
We had to wait until the 8th to get our bus out of town to started heading north again, so we spent the 7th pottering around town, taking photos and eating at a restaurant that had the biggest hamburger ive seen in my entire life
I realise this blog is all over the place, and logically doesnt make sense, but there is no way to write properly about something like this hike. Its something you have to experience to understand fully. The cold, the wind, the packs and the endless kilometres of walking. The pictures will be able to show better than any words I could string together just how beautiful this hike turned out to be.