After loads of dusty roads and stong winds on “El Pinguino” we decided it is time for a different kind of travel – hiking! Our plan was to go hiking in the Torres del Paine (which means the blue towers in the ancient Indian language – has nothing to do with pain). The initial idea was to hike the “W” trail but if you don’t book this one 2 months ahead of time there is no chance to get any places at the refugios’s – not even for a camping spot. There are plenty of campsites inside the national park which you don’t have to book and that gives opportunities for plenty of dayhikes inside the park. The campsites are well maintained and have hot showers. The night sets you back though by 15,- Euros per person – not cheap! On top of that is the entrance to the park with about 30,- Euros per person that gives you access to the park for 3 days (or you stay inside the park for as long as you like). It is money well spend though. The park is beautiful and the hikes are spectacular. Since we couldn’t do the “W” we decided to spend one night in a refugio on the way to the most iconic landmark – the tres torres. Once again – not cheap! We paid about 80,- Euros per person which though includes 3 meals and we got a tent from the refugio. The hike itself winds gently through a forest until we reached the treeline. It became more rigged and rocky as we got higher up and we even got some snow flakes dancing around us. But when we arrived at the top the sky cleared up very briefly and we could get a glimpse on the 3 towers. The good weather didn’t last long though and after 30 minutes everything was back in the clouds. We made our way down to the valley again and back to one of the camps in the park. From our campsite we had a specatacular view on to the mountain range which got even better in the morning light.
The wildlife in the park hasn’t figured out what humans can do and are therefor not shy at all. One of the most comon animals are the Guanaco’s which we found everywhere in the park. The most fun ones though are the Caracara Bird – a bird of prey that is slightly taller then a falcon. One of those birds woke us up by making loads of noise. He throned on the windshield of our bike and tried to pick out the eyes from our Penguin mascot (a cuddly toy that sits behind the windscreen). I got out of the tent and tried to get the bird away from our mascot. Standing in my underpants in front of him and waving my arms didn’t impress him at all. He just kept attacking the poor penguin. I used the chance and took out the Nikon to take some pictures of the Caracara. The picture below is not taken with a long tele lens, it was actually taken on a 70 mm portrait lens! Finally the Caracara though gave up on attacking our penguin and took off. The penguin slept forth on safely with us in the tent. After Torres del Paine we took off towards the Argentinan side of Patagonia again. Stay tuned for the next update about the Moreno Glacier and hiking around Cerro Torre. If you wish to get an email about this blog please sign the newsletter form at the bottom of this page ... so long