Torres del Paine – Patagonia’s dream and nightmare

Posted by on November 28, 2012

On the last 4 days we hiked more than 60km on the “W” trail in the National Park Torres del Paine in the Chilean Patagonia. This is the most hiked trail in South America with over 200,000 tourists every year. It’s called “The W trail” because of its shape which looks like the letter “W”.

We were told that the weather in Patagonia can change very quickly and you can experience all 4 seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter in one day and it is not uncommon that winds reach speeds of up to 100km/h. Everything you read or you are told is not comparable with experiencing it on your own. We managed to love, hate and then love again Patagonia and its nature. On the first day after we arrived in the national park the weather was somehow ok but in the evening it changed dramatically with very strong winds which we were told reached 60km/h. Spending the night in a tent with less than 0 degrees temperature and the strong winds which made me believe that the tent can take off any second is for sure an experience that we will not forget very soon. When I’m thinking back I can still not believe that our tent resisted the winds as it basically had the shape of a “C”.

The second day we did a really nice hike and were rewarded with spectacular postcard views on the Pehoe and Nordenskjold lakes which have turquoise colors. In the evening the weather again changed but this time we were lucky to reach a camping site which was protected by a forest so our tent didn’t have to fight against the winds again.

The third day was the toughest one and I could say it was our hardest hike ever. We experienced very high winds which knocked me down like a flower a couple of times though I also carried a backpack of 15kg so I was not really the lightest thing around… Diana was holding on to trees in critical situations in order not to be blown away. We somehow reached one hostel just to be told that everything was booked so we had to continue our journey through the wind for another 15 km. I still don’t know how we did it but we somehow reached the camping site after 5 hours of nightmare.

On the last day we woke up early and were amazed by the very beautiful weather. There was no sign of the nightmare from the previous days. We hiked up to the Torres del Paine which gives the name of the park and which stands for Blue Towers in the native language and we were rewarded with one of the most amazing views we have ever seen. After more than 60km and experiences which could easily fill up a chapter in a book we’re now more than happy that we went to this amazing wonder of nature.

Next stop

A hot shower, a nice bed and a 12 hrs sleep

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