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, Keep reading!
Day three: today is all about the middle leg of the W, the French Valley. We feel great, strong, healthy, and have lots of energy. By now we are comfortable with the uncomfortable. My blisters and Adam’s knee pain are easier to ignore. It is a laid back day compared with the others, less ground to cover and we get to leave our packs at the camp site since we’ll be returning tonight. It’s also a fun hike; we follow a river through the forest, climb some huge rocks, and look out over lakes and beautiful mountains.
As we decided at the onset, we take everything easy and unlike the majority of the people who woke up to alarms at dawn to hike, we get a later start and have the trail to ourselves. Keep reading!
There are times in life, often we look for them, other times they spontaneously happen, when we quiet our minds from the normal daily thinking to reflect. We revisit accomplishments; good memories and bad memories; disappointments; dream about future plans; we relive the sensations and how they made us feel; we return to them and try to understand why they happened; we decide what we learned; or we simply think of them one last time to forget them forever. I just spent five days like that, without expecting it, while trekking in Patagonia.
Welcome to Patagonia
The trek we took is called the “W”. Named after the shape of the route, it is a must-do, 75 kilometer hike through the Chilean national park: Torres del Paine Keep reading!
A place that has been on our list from day one is Perito Moreno. An enormous glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park close to El Calafate. We have heard so many good things about it from other travelers, but nothing could prepare us for seeing it up close.
When I think of cozy I imagine myself sitting on a very comfy couch, drinking a warm cup of coffee (tea or hot chocolate if you prefer) admiring a mountain lake through the window of a welcoming wooden cabin. This is how life can be around the lake region of Argentina. Keep reading!
From Valparaiso we went south to Pucon with one purpose: hiking the Villarrica Volcano! Pucon has that mountain town feeling, very clean, rustic wood cabins everywhere, offering many outdoor activities with gorgeous views to the Villarrica volcano and the Vilarrica lake. We had heard comments that the excursions to the volcano can depend on the weather so we went to a guide agency right away to make sure we could go the next day. They also recommended us a cozy hostel/house ran by a sweet Chilean lady named Lucia. Keep reading!
A new country to cross off from our wish list: Chile! It took us six hours from Mendoza to go over the border to Valparaiso and I can’t tell you how happy we were to see and feel the breeze of the Pacific, we were craving it! Some words that describe Valparaiso: hipster, bohemian, beach, cultural, art, graffiti, Pablo Neruda, left, colorful, sunsets. Keep reading!