Trip Start Sep 28, 2005
103Trip End Jun 24, 2006
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Miles travelled: 44083
We've arrived at one of the highlights of the trip, Torres del Paine National Park. We crossed the border back into Chile and made our way further south to Torres; the winds are tremendous across the flat plains, sometimes it's difficult to maintain balance and so we end up looking like drunks walking to/from the truck.
The Torres (towers) are 3 granite pillars reaching over 8000 feet high. We could get a glimpse of them as we came into the park from the east. Unfortunately, though, once we got closer it clouded over rapidly and began to rain. We would learn that the weather changes amazingly fast in this area
Over the next 3 days, we had a chance to do several short walks and one longer (16km roundtrip) hike, exploring the area. We didn't get a chance to see the Torres up-close, but we got great views of the Cuernos (Horns) de Paine, which are jagged peaks almost as tall as the Torres, but with a distinctive coloration of light gray granite topped by black basalt. Because of the changing weather, we got to see the Cuernos in all sorts of light, from brilliant sunlight, to dappled patterns from the clouds, to a foreboding gray mist. There are also several brilliant-aqua-colored lakes in the area, which derive their color from the minerals and sediments in the glacier runoff.