Day five: Always save the best for last! It is still dark when we wake up to start our last day in Torres Del Paine, it will take us an hour to get to the view-point for the Torres. Everyone wants to see these famous mountains turning shades of red and orange at sunrise so we are joined by a line of people headed up while trying not to fall in the dark. Adam and I are sharing one headlamp so it’s a team effort for us. A guide gave us the following recommendation back in town before we left: “When you wake up on the last day, it will be cold, the wind will be howling, it will be raining, and the last thing you’ll want to do is carry a pack up the steep one hour hike to the top. Do it anyway! Everyone else will climb up without theirs, soaked from sweat in their clothes, get to the top, instantly be frozen by the wind, snap a few pictures and head back down before 10 minutes are up. Don’t be everyone.” He couldn’t have been more right. We lug our backpacks with dry clothes, sleeping pads and bags, along with breakfast and our camp stove.
One of the first ones to the top, Adam finds us the perfect spot tucked between two big rocks to keep us out of the wind, front and center for a view of the Torres, and far away from the crowd. We lay down our pads, change into warm dry clothes and hurry inside our sleeping bags. Fire up the camp stove, put on coffee and oatmeal, and lay back to watch the sun rise over the Torres… best coffee and breakfast spot ever! Life doesn’t get much better than that moment! After peering over the rocks a short while later I believe he was right, we were the only ones who stayed for more than 10 minutes.
After breakfast, a nap and some more time spent gazing at Las Torres we head down to pack our stuff and make our way out of the park. It takes us about four hours to get to where the bus is picking us up to go back to civilization. While waiting for the bus, I order a hot veggie sandwich at the deli of the refugio and it was the most delicious meal ever! For those who enjoy delicious cooked meals, a warm comfy bed, and a hot shower every day, remember to be grateful because we are all tremendously lucky!
Yet another wonderful memory to share; it was tough, exhausting and challenging, but also one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. With out expecting it, Torres del Paine was a means to quiet my thoughts and reflect about life. I feel ready for new experiences, on a new side of the world, with a clear mind that can take me to that very first time that I saw Patagonia and relive the memory of how amazing it was.
This was the final chapter for South America and a great transition to our new destination: New Zealand!!!