Torres del Paines
Next on our list was Puerto Natales where we spent 2 days trekking in Torres del Paines National Park. After an afternoon of preparation from the staff at Erratic Rock hostel we were geared up and ready to go. Up at 5.45am the next day we set off on the 5 hour bus/boat journey to Pehoe camp site. Instead of camping we opted for Refugio Paine Grande (hostel) complete with meals. Much easier than lugging tents and food around!
At 2pm we were ready to start trekking, only problem being it had started to rain.... heavily! We decided to go for it in the hope it would ease off.... no such luck! We headed up the track to Glacier Grey - mud tracks made worse by the pouring rain. Within minutes we were both soaked through and couldnÂ´t see much due to the mist and very strong winds. The walk seemed to last forever! Eventually we came to the first lookout point for the glacier, we couldnÂ´t see much as it was quite fogged over plus we were having trouble holding our balance due to the wind. We did manage to see the glacier and that had been our goal. We arrived back at the refugio at 6pm - we have never been so glad to see a hostel before! Tracey took our trainers out to dry by the fire only to trip over all the trainers which were already there and burned her hand badly on the scalding pipe.... she spent the rest of the night clutching onto a bag of ice. We certainly were glad to see the end of that day!
Day 2 was the complete opposite - blue skies and sunshine! We could actually see the mountains surrounding the hostel. We headed out early up the Valle de Frances, quite a tough uphill hike but the scenery was marvelous - large craggy, snowy mountains, beautiful flowers, flora and fauna. Within a few minutes we could see part of the 3 Torres, high above us in the distance. The higher we climbed the better the views bacame of Lago Nordenskjord. Once we reached the view point near the glacier, looking down onto the lake and islands was just breathtaking - so peaceful!
On the way back down Tracey slipped and submerged her foot in thick mud, not before she pulled me down with her! We both had one pretty clean trainer and one caked in mud, feet swirling around the mud inside our trainers!!
We walked 12.5 miles that day, compared to 7.5 miles the day before, although day 2 seemed much shorter than day 1! We didnÂ´t climb up to the 3 Torres, but we had some spectacular views of them from a distance and that was special enough for us!