We will be spending time at a Volunteering Project in Chile: 'Save The Wild Chinchillas' - Habitat Re-establishment

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Torres Del Paine - 'Towers of Pain'

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So we've been back from Torres Del Pain for a few days now, having returned early due to the whole place going up in flames because of 'human negligence', which essentially means someone probably used their gas-fire for cooking on the trail paths, which you're not supposed to do, for the most obvious reasons! (through the grapevine we heard that this was indeed the cause)

Our time in Torres Del Paine was testing, beautiful yes, but really very testing. We were pefectly fit and able however, powering through along the mountain sides at a speedy pace, even over-taking most other trekkers (to our suprise!). 

and off she goes!
Pretty Rainbow


This sign wasn't exactly reassuring
Bouncy bouncy bridge!

Not happy!
One of the worst nights sleep ever
We didn't even wash for the whole three days we were there, we didn't see the point considering each day of trekking made us filthy anyway. Even more so when I went tumbling to the ground when my boot hooks got caught on one another, sending me flying flat on my face on the dusty pathway. Jack missed it, but he heard a squawk and a 'Thud'!

Squeeeeeezing out a smile
Our very camouflaged tent!

It wasn't so much the trekking that we found hard to swallow, it was the carrying of heavy bags, camping at the end of the day and having to set everything up while batting midgies away who were trying to eat our foreheads. 

The 'going to the toilet' in the wild and having to keep all 'used' tissues with us as obviously there's a 'leave no trace' policy, which is of course how it should be, but it's still not pleasant. Then retiring for the evening and having to lie on nothing but the ground-sheet, with twigs and roots digging into our backs, then to top it off waking up in the night shivering due to the immense cold. Ok so we probably should have taken our camping mats, but they were so thin and flimsy anyway I doubt they'd have made that much difference!
Me rinsing our dishes in the morning

The days were sunny, though when trekking this is not actually what you want. Every time we came across water we'd pour bottle loads of it over ourselves just to cool down. The views were really nice, but when you're so fed up of everything else it makes it much more difficult to appreciate it. Not that we're regretful in any way, we just wish we'd had the money to be able to stay in the refugios along the way, it would have made it all soooooooooo much more comfortable.


Jack and his Weirwood Tree! (Game of Thrones obsessive)


Happy resting and relaxing! (for 10 minutes)
Hello Mr Caterpillar
Spot the tent

Smoky and hazy morning because of the fire
On the third day we were headed to our final destination, the Torres Towers, located at the end of our route and also a 6 hour trek in one whole gulp. We'd been told during the talk we went to before we set off that if we camped at the nearest campsite to the towers and got up there for sunrise, that the view would be spectacular. 
We never made it that far though, and not just because of our waning enthusiasm, but because that was when we found out a fire had been behind us the whole way and the park guard said we could still head West to the towers, but advised we leave the park as it was still spreading. This pretty much made our minds up and we headed down down down the mountain feeling relieved to not be camping that night, but also feeling overwhelmingly dirty and exhausted. 

Image from Google of the fire
Jack and his South American friend, uncanny

A really weird fat rainbow back in Peurto Natales
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