Friday, March 30, 2007

Very, very Torres del Paine

I had one very, very long walk in Torres del Paine these past few days doing the W from west to east. Included was one very, very cold night of camping (the first night, near Glacier Gray) and the other 3 in refugios (basic shelters with beds and heat coming from old-style wood-burning stoves). Because this is the shoulder season, the refugios were not crowded, and I was able to book these on the fly each night. I carried food for the first 3 days and after that bought meals at refugios (basic, hearty meals, home-cooked but expensive).

Glacier Gray possesses an intense blue that is retained in the chunks of iceberg that float on the aqua-green lake. The autumn colors are out, but because Patagonia is a dry place, the colors are not extreme, just small bursts here and there starting closer to the core of the bush or tree and emanating outward. Everywhere I saw rings of color, like the turning trees or around a shallow lake, everything in layers with no extra show of effort.

Many people were met and re-met along the trail each day and so it was a shared and awestruck suffering, because believe me, at times in the howling gales of greater than 100 km per hour and due to the treacherous river crossings (one in particular on the last eastern leg of the W), we were suffering! And yet I had quiet times with the path completely to myself in the tranquility of the changing autumn colors of Chilean Patagonia.

At the end of the day (actually early in the morning), I did not get to see the Paine towers top to bottom! By the time I got there, rain and clouds filled the sky, so half way up the last rock pile, knowing I would have no view, I turned to go...well, it was still worth it all after all!

Autumn colors:


Anonymous travelling within... said...

Wow.... wow..... wow!!!
It looks amazing!

You're a great saleswoman for the concept of round-the-world travel. My life seems very small right now, by comparison.


5:55 PM  

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