Torres del Paine
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    Page 3

Trekking the Torres del Paine Circuit in the Patagonian Andes Page 3

Campamento Paso to Refugio Gray (9 kms)

We must have had horseshoes up our butts because the next day was also nice.

I know people who’ve travelled this area with less than a day of decent weather. People on the trail behind us and ahead of us had crappy weather. I felt like a sunbeam followed us around and whoever arranged that certainly has my gratitude.

 
 
     
 
 
 

We walked most of the day on the cliffs above the glacier, slowly coming around towards to icy blue Lago Grey with its massive chunks of floating ice. But here I wasn't happy since the path was tiny, the winds erratic and the fall immense. There were definitely a few vertigo moments. There were also a number of ladders to get up the steeper areas and climbing a ladder on a cliff with a backpack in wind is a little alarming but we managed.f horses galloping rough the campsite and along the river at top speed followed by a couple gauchos.

We evened out and wound through pretty forests and were back into the wildflowers for a few more hours. As we dropped down into the campground of Refugio Grey, we felt like we'd hit Club Med for backpackers. There were so many people! This area is part of the much more popular W route. People had actually bathed recently in this campground. They were’t covered head to toe in mud. They didn’t smell quite the same as us.

 

 
The beach stretched out before us and we took a place front and centre to get a view of the lake and floating ice. One crazy gringo stripped down and swam out to sit on some ice. Nuts. Chilled nuts, likely.
     

 
  This was a partial celebration night. We’d come out of the toughest, remotest territory. Sergio, who’d been hiking in tandem with us, dropped by the tent with some Red Label whiskey on ice from the glacier. So I sat with Sergio sipping whiskey and swirling the glacier grit as it dropped to the bottom of the glass.
 
 
     

The last few days on the W-trail

We walked amongst wild foxglove up and down the hills above lakes full of floating ice.

 
 

Then we hit a dark blue alpine lake that was a lot like Canada and, finally, we rounded the extremely windy corner to the turquoise Lago Pehoe.

 
 

With a little help, we pitched our tent in the prevailing winds and said hello to the many people we now knew from the trail and had a little party with some Gato Negro.

That night the stars were clear and bright and the mountains were lit up with their light.

The next day we woke to torrential rain and chose to forgo the walk in Valle de Frances. The views would have been negligible and, to be honest, both Pina and I were quite lame by then.
     
If we were horses, they would have shot us as we hobbled about. So we caught the boat across the lake and headed back Puerto to Natales. .  
 
 
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