Tam ta ram ti tam… a path, a valley, a little forest, a hill, a curve, a glacier… I was literally playing in the wind on top of a hill, checking how far I could lean towards it when I realised there was a glacier in the distance!!! Bam, just like this, gorgeous glacier 🙂
So we made it to the end of our trip – tomorrow will be all about small walks near the campsite but no heavy bags. And we can look forward to our breakfast tomorrow as the sherpas left their high-sugar marmalade for their ‘amigas Polakas’. And now, now we are resting before a walk to the base of the glacier. Resting means drinking Chilean beer while some of us are having a nap…
A post-walk nap
And a well deserved beer 🙂
In the morning one of our new pals (we made friends with the sherpas, oh yes we did) asked me if i could find medicine for my extremely puffy eyes. I looked at him and went: ‘SLEEP! I need SLEEP!!!!’ But they shared their super high energy breakfast with us, so we walked like pros on our third day of the hike.
Third day resulted in the following observations: if the wind is very strong, you can’t really chat with your companion. So you walk and think or not think. If your mind is like the sky and the thoughts are like the clouds passing by, how quickly are they passing in 90km p/h wind? I don’t know but as I am writing this, I can see Aga writing in her journal ferociously and I can tell this walking is good for us 🙂
Paines Grandes campsite was lovely, somewhere between mountains and lakes. Normally people pitch their tents as far away from each other as possible but here the wind made us all pitch together, hoping for some shelter.
When you start your day at 4.30am, what can go wrong? To be honest, I don’t know if you can still call it ‘waking up’ if you had a sleepless night (caused by the wind which made us feel that the trees surrounding our tent were going to start falling any time) but I did get up then to treck up the mountain to see the sunrise at Torres del Paine. There is something so majestic about sunrise in the mountains that I couldn’t believe my good fortune to be there, to experience it… despite the cold, the wind and the snow.
After that, we packed started our treck to the next base, Cuervos. What started as a lovely walk in the sunshine ended as a trudge against 70km p/h wind. When we finally saw the campsite in the valley we were so excited we took the horse path by accident, which took us to an uncrossable river. Back up, right path, we arrived.
We actually had insiders’ knowledge about how windy this campsite is, so we spent an hour pitching our tent, making sure it wasn’t going to be blown away. It worked!!! Having said that, it was impossible to sleep as at night the wind changed from 70 km p/h to 90km p/h – we were certain we were going to be blown away any time…
Torres del Paine at sunrise
A lovely walk to Cuervos
Apparently, this is a phrase they use on American tv when you can expect a bit of rain, a bit of snow, a bit of sunshine and a bit of cold. This is also Chile’s main attraction…
But first things first, on Sunday 10th we took a bus to Chile. Five hours of monotonous drive, only to be swept away by the views of the mountains of Torres del Paine. Swept away is actually a great phrase to use as it is WIIIINDYYYY in Chile! The journey was followed by another Twin Peaks-like town, where we stayed for one night, ate steak and met a fellow happy camper who inspired us to try to see the famous three mountains called Torres at sunrise. We weren’t sure but he then showed us his photos from the hike and we were sold! We took a bus to as close to the national park as possible and trecked to a campsite called ‘Torres’ where we pitched our tent, then hiked up the hill, came back and ate a proverbial horse. I am writing this in our tent at a crazily early hour at night, with an alarm set for 4.30am…
Torres del Paine - take one 🙂
I really don’t know what it exactly is about El Calafate but on the first night there I compared it to a mix of Twin Peaks, Zakopane and Aviemore. Go figure. Must be the atmosphere, empty side streets, the feeling that the Goretex-clad gringos stand out big time.
On the first night we walked round town and ate a lot of meat. With a hindside, the walking around was completely unnecesary, we should have just concentrated on the meat 🙂 It was a mixed grill but worry not, Aga has a full list of items we ate 🙂
Today, we spent a day… looking at the Perito Moreno Glacier: we took a boat to get closer to it, we walked to 10 different view points, to take a better look at it, took a million photos, movies and even had lunch while looking at the glacier! Don’t be unimpressed, there were bits of the glacier falling off with a big bang while we were doing all those things!
I’m writing this as we’re planning our Torres del Paine treck while drinking wine (twice as expensive as mineral water) and contemplating our maps. To Chile, arriva arriva!
Oh , look it's a glacier!
Is this by any chance more glacier?
One of most frequent questions we were asked was about the planning for the trip. So, here is our secret: I’ve read Paul Theroux’s Old Patagonian Express and Aga memorised the guidebook chapter on Argentinian steaks. Now you know.
Old Patagonian Express - finished reading it on the bus today 🙂
I cried when leaving Cambodia. Pimpa says it’s because it got under my skin. This woman is always right!
Bangkok since yesterday – so crazy and modern, I’m having trouble adjusting.