Nature has a way of at one point reminding you of a place you’ve been then seconds later showing you something completely new. Torres Del Paine National Park is a natural wonder and I get excited just typing about it now. Please, if you’re taking the time to read this, quickly go add it to your bucket list then come back and finish reading it, but be careful, spoilers ahead…
We picked up Ivan and Tash at the hostel they had been staying at and maybe even grabbed a cheeky shower in their hostel, shhh… We did a HUGE grocery shop to prep for a couple nights on the road and in the park. I was so excited to leave that even grocery shopping felt like a bother.
We finally got on the road and set off for a campsite just outside of the park as we were planning on slipping into the park at a very early hour to avoid the ridiculously expensive park entrance fee. Dinner was made with the Torres in sightat the east end of Lago Sarmiento, and what a teaser that view was. We slept at the east end of Laguna Amarga with a 5am alarm set on my watch. I, being a great guy (and the only one who drives Alfonso so far), was going to drive us into the park while the crew slept and then we would start the hike.
We rolled to the parking lot right at the base of the Torres hike at 6am, and made a strong hikers breakfast of oatmeal and manjar on bread (manjar is essentially caramel spread). Of course everyone but me had their coffees and I think I even enjoyed a tea that morning, it was a tad chilly. Lunches had been made the night previous so we could rock and roll right away. We didn’t even start the hike until around 8am because the sun was rising and turning the towers these amazing reds and pinks and it would have been an atrocity to miss that show. The hike itself was pretty intense, and we quickly realized that we did not pack enough food. There’s one place to buy food on the way, but we don’t have homes to mortgage to afford the food, so we just decided to make a big dinner when we got back. We powered through the final steep rock scramble on grumbling bellies to turn a corner and make witness to one of the most impressive views of my short life.
The Torres amphitheater, in a word is, totallyunbelievable (see? One word). Three massive rock formations tower over a crystal blue lake, and make you feel like a wee ant. Honestly so impressive and so difficult to put into words that when I tried to use a thesaurus to find a potent enough word it burst into flames.
We put some photos in here to do a touch of justice to the beauty that is the Torres Del Paine. We spent an hour and a half at the towers, but definitely could have spent the whole day. The hike back to the car was nice… I guess. The hike has an uphill both ways (several times), so we weren’t fired up to walk back up hills again. Ah well, fitness and health or whatever.
I can report however, that the beer at the base beside our van was one of the sweeter I’ve enjoyed in a while. Our sleep that night however, was another story… Stay tuned for the continuation of this adventure (I’m tired of typing and Ivan is drinking all the beer).