16.01.2009 5 °C
9am to leave Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales. We try to decide on the best way to visit Torres del Paine. We decided to try and treckin the famous "W" circuit that would take 4 days to complete.During the bus journey we had a few technical hitches. "All outside the bus" the driver said. The assistant told us that the engine had "failed," while we suspected that it was a distinct lack of Diesel that was the problem ... and we were not wrong. We ended up waiting by the side of the road for a little over 2 hours while another bus was called out to "fix" the engine. We should have arrived in Puerto Natales at 11.15, but we actually arrived around14.15, ruining our plans to go into the national park that same day those.
The last coach to the Torres del Paine was at 14.30, but we still had to reduce the weight of our backpacks and buy food to take. We Decided to stay in the Puerto Natales that night and go early to the Torres del Paine. We walked around the small town until we found a small hostel where we stayed the night. We also washed our clothes and her son, who spoke English, gave us some tips about the journey and the weather that was heading our way....
The next day we went very early, to leave for the Towers. We arrived at the park enterance around 11am, got another mini-van from there to the start of the trail. We began the treck with our bags for a steady climb up to around 750m up the mountain to the first camp. However the 2 hour treck took almost 4 hours, but we finally reached the camp where we set up our tent for the night.
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The next stage started in ernest. However this stage of the hike was without our bags so the thought of more hiking was less worrying. The journey should take 2h45m between our camp and the Mirador Torres .. but as always you could almost double the number. This hike was much better than the previous one because it had not so many ups (it was more balanced) and the landscapes were fantastic.
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However the last part of the hike up to the towers was a different matter, it was very difficult, but after an hour of hauling ourselves up huge rocks and boulders finally got to the top of the lookout!
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While we were on top the rain started.... hampering the return to our camp (other 3 hours of walking ...). We arrived around 22h, put on dry clothes and made dinner. That night we were so tired that our whole bodies felt like they were about to shut down! It rained all night with strong winds ... it was horrible, the tent leaked at the enterance, soaking our bags and it was so cold i dont think we slept very much at all!!In the morning when we woke we had some breakfast, packed our wet,dirty tent and began to walk back down the trail we had fallowed up to the camp the day before (again with bags). We were supposed to continue the famous "W" circuit but Adrianas ankles started to hurt a lot and so we both decided to return to the road and try to catch a bus back to Puerto Natales. Chris and Sylvia continued on without us. Looking back we made the right decision as soon after we left the park the winds and rain started to pick up... just as the guy from the hostel had predicted they would...
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Around 22:30 we finally got back to Puerto Natales and returned to the hostel where we booked in for a futher two nights. Back to a warm and comfortable bed ... bliss!!
The next day we wanted to see the glacier by car, but the weather was terrible so we decided to have a day of rest and update the blog. That night the Dutch couple returned as well, they made it to the next camp where they stayed the night but the weather was too bad and they also turned back for a warm bed. We decieded to travel together again to El Calafate the next day to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier....