Torres del Paine, Chile
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Downtown Puerto Natales. We spent quite a few days here getting ready.
Our food supply layed out before packing.
On the way into the park, a lot of nothing!
On the way into the park.
Ben grabs a few last minute Z’s
The surrounding area is quite barren
Putting the tent up on the first day. Hmmm where does this pole go?
Just after putting oure tent up for the first time
Setting off for our first day of trekking towards the track to Mirador Torres. Doesn’t she look clean?
The signs point the way.
A gate near the start of the Torres track
Michelle crosses a swing bridge.
The path starts off easy enough. Note some people are carring more luggage than us!
The track runs up through this valley
Ben standing by the river
Only 45 mins to go? Easy peasy!
This is the kind of rock we had to scramble over to get to the top
That was worth it! The Mirador Torres. Pity it’s not clearer, but still pretty amazing!
A wider view of the Torres
Yay we made it!
The lake at the base of Torres
The Torres peaks
The terrain here was a bit .. challenging
OK back down now. Scambling over rocks in gale force winds is fun!
There is a path through the rocks of sorts, but you would lose it easily without the orange markers.
The family we escorted down the “dangerous” part in the wind
The amenities block at our camp site.
Glad the tent is still here after all that wind
The camp ground at morning.
The campground in the distance, with Torres in the background.
Waiting for the bus to catch the boat
The light on the granite is just amazing
The other side of the park is more hilly than mountainous
The view of the mountains from the road
Hmm the lake looks a bit choppy
The luggage is efficiently stowed in the catamaran
Heading to Paine Grande on the catamaran
Everywhere you go, you can see them
Taking refuge from the chop inside
We arrive at Paine Grande campsite. It’s a bit quiet now, but more people will arrive soon
Relaxing in our tent. Once it was put up, the day was a rest day.
Cooking dinner at 9:30pm. It’s still quite light outside.
Cooking breakfast in the mess area. Not a bad view!
On the road for the next trek to the French Valley. It starts off pretty flat.
It looks like we are marching to Mordor
A devestating bushfire ripped through here in 2011 and this isn’t like Australian bush that recovers easily.
On the way to the French Valley. Oui Oui Oui!
Some snow on one of the peaks in the French Valley
The river in the valley
A bridge over troubled water
The first mirador (view) in the valley. This is pretty schmick, how much better could it get?
The path is kind of rocky
Some pretty heavy snow cover
The small glacier in the French Valley
Looking back down the valley
OK onto the new mirador. Lots of up and lots of rocks
I did it! At the second mirador in the French Valley
Thanks for making me do that Ben!
The view looking up
The view looking down
To the right
And to the left. Something amazing everywhere you look!
A burnt out tree
A mountain bird
The trees are shaped by the strong winds. Luckily there was none today.
One the way back down, the view from the first mirador is still pretty special
The rocky path takes a toll on the feet
Over the bridge
The river in the french valley
Back at camp after a 20km round trip
The sun setting on the peaks
The moon at twilight
Sunsets are late and lovely
You can get it climbing a valley…
The bar at Paine Grande campground
Michelle attends to her blisters
Last day … lets find a glacier!
Laguna los Pasos
Not a breath of wind, but you can see from the tree it’s not always like this!
First sight of Lago Grey, complete with icebergs!
That glacier can’t be too far away
Oooh there it is!
Everyone checks out the view of Glacier Gray
Photo opportunities aplenty
This is a pretty popular viewing location.
Glacier Gray and Iceberg
The big rock in front is called Nunatak
Our turn to get a shot
Nice view but we want to get closer. Onwards!
Many rivers to cross….
The bridge was broken but someone fixed it. Not quite sure but will give it the benefit of the doubt.
A plane flies high overhead, remind us of the real world
The view beyond Refugio Gray. z
Close up of Glacier Grey
Some free floating ice
Ice and the glacier at ground level
The smaller pieces of ice melt and roll in the hot sun
Michelle munching on some glacial ice
That’s where it came from
Time to go now
Calafate Berries. The legend says that if you eat them, you will surely return to Patagonia.
Refugio Gray – we didn’t stay here but would have liked to!
Heading back to camp
It always seems longer going back
Trees shaped by the usual prevailing wind (but not today)
Home sweet home
The front of the Paine Grande campground
From the window of the bar at Paine Grande campsite
Dead trees do have their uses
Breakfast of champions
Our last day … a few more people here now than when we arrived
Getting ready to pack up the tent and head home
Adequately sims up the experience … although we didn’t see a Puma
Waiting for the boat
The boat approaches
A guanaca having a feed
On the way out of the park
Back to Puerto Natales and a hot shower!