Dec 1, 2011

Torres del Paine. It will Take Your Breath Away

Last week was so intense that I am still recovering. Nonetheless, having shared a week in the Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego regions with my father is certainly priceless and unforgettable. A beautiful land with beautiful people, and places that will take your breath away, either by its pure beauty or by the uphill treks.

Unforgettable times in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego

The flight to Punta Arenas was smooth, and I could not be luckier because I sat next to Sady, a local Puerto Natales tour guide. I got all the inside scoop, too bad we had already made next day plans in advance.

Arriving in Punta Arenas

Magaellanic flat lands

I had been warned of how windy the region is, and by the landing, we got our first taste of it. It was so windy that the plane was shaking even after we landed. But it turned out to be just a hand shake from mother earth, because it was very mild thereafter. Considering a 10 p.m sunset, the 6:00 p.m. arrival left us still with half a day.

The bus ride to Puerto Natales (our starting point for the trip ) was a 2 hour regular ride home for some but a first cheap thrill for us.

Puerto Natales is a small town and the people at the hotel, the restaurants, and on the street are just awesome friendly.  

Dinner at Afrigonia
Puerto Natales

Getting to Torres del Paine is not easy. Getting out proved harder. I arranged a full day tour that would take us through the park, make the most significant stops, including the overrated Cueva del Milodon, and then drop us off at a park ranger station (Laguna Amarga) where a transfer will take us to the hotel.

Cueva del Milodon
Huanacos own this beautiful land

The full trail around the park takes more than a week.

Los Cuernos

Cascada Grande

Tourist shot of course

Lago Grey and ice chunk from the Grey Glacier

When we got to the hotel, the typical Cordero Magallanico al palo was getting ready.

The next day was the big hike to Mirador Torres. We got on our way not knowing how hard it would be.  It proved to be a great bonding day with my old man, and an unforgettable experience.


With a day like this, and sights like this, no wonder so many people are hooked into trekking. We ran across people that were doing the "W" a 4-day hike with camping, and the hard core ones doing the "Full Circle", an 8 to 10 day trek surrounding all the park trails.

At one point during the hike, the determination kicks in, and takes over how you feel. Right dad ?

One look at La Morrena, makes a lot of hikers, stop right around here. The day is cloudy, we may or may not have a full view of the towers. Expectations have to stay low. Many people come here for days, and are not able to see them full view. But we are going to make it no matter what...

The final stretch, the sky is clearing up...

the reward... clear skies, and one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.

an Aguila Mora welcomes us...

and we could not be happier to have done it together, father and son.

Los Jimmys @ Torres del Paine (20/11/2011)

Now... time to walk all the way back to the hotel for another four hours, but that part of the story was piece of cake by comparison.