Next stop was Puerto Natales, the town close to the Torres del Paine National Park. Of course we decided to hike the whole circuit ;-) And the back loop was really worth the extra days.
Over beautiful meadows, through wind-blown trees, and along a river we went to Campamento Seron on the first day, a beautiful spot.
“It’s a beautiful day; Sky falls, you feel like; It’s a beautiful day; Don’t let it get away”
As we arrived quite early and the tent was set up fast, I took a nap in the sunshine. Well, the mice did like the place, too. Or maybe the food in our backpacks. And visited our tent during the night (and the following ones). Aside from eating holes in Rüdigers backpack, Claudis rain trousers, and plastic water bottles the made a lot of noise… took some time to learn to ignore their pattering.
The second day we hiked on to Refugio Dickson. The nicest camp ground on the circuit. Beautiful located in a valley aside the Rio Paine and Lago Dickson. Great views of the surrounding mountains in the sunshine. Thanks to the guys from the Refugio for their great hospitality.
Third day was sunny again. Yeah! We had a perfect break at a small creek. Who said, that it would definitely rain? Short before the dark and muddy camp ground Los Perros, we passed the end moraine of the glacier Los Perros which is hanging in blue color above it’s lake.
The fourth day was the queen’s stage, the Paso John Gardner. Contrary to the expectations it was not too difficult. But we hat good weather conditions again: No snow at all and just a bit of rain (and some wind!) on the way up. Right after the pass we had a spectacular view of the glacier Grey. Including a rainbow over the Glacier. Unbelievable! Luckily we got into the forest quickly after the pass, because there was a strong wind blowing and I was freezing. Throughout the trees we got great views of the glaciers now and then. Rutted landscape of ice in a thousand colors. From the lookout at the Campamento Los Guardas one get a great view of the tip of the glacier and on Lago Grey. Awesome.
The next morning, I found a Ritter Sport dark chocolate and a “flashlight candle” next to my sleeping bag. Thanks Claudia & Rüdiger for this great start into my birthday! Mhmmm. Starting with another look on the tip of glacier grey after getting up we passed by a bay of Lago Grey with a lot of small icebergs from the glacier and a great view of the tip and the glacier itself. Including condors flying above. Could not help to go all the way to the end of tongue of land. Spent a lot of time at the bay. What an awesome birthday present! On the way to Refugio Paine Grande we passed a beautiful lake. We had a great dinner at the Refugio instead of the pasta with ketchups . Thanks Rüdiger for inviting me! And thanks to Undine & Heiko for your lovely birthday card and the Jägermeister! I carried it all the way!
Initially we wanted to camp at the Campamento Britannica the next day. But there was a heavy snow storm in the Valle del Francés so we decided to continue to Campamento Los Cuernos instead. And returned to the Valle del Francés the next day. It was still snowing lightly in the valley. Scrunching snow under every step. Snow covered trees. And we have been the first on this day, so there were no footsteps on the way. Just a beautiful white winter landscape in all directions. I decided to go all the way up to the lookout point and luckily Rowy from the States wanted to go up to. Thanks Rowy for joining! We had a spectacular view of the valley from the Mirador ;-)
After another night at Campamento Los Cuernos we hiked along the nice Lago Nordenskjöd through a more and more widening landscape until we reached the valley of the river Ascenio, that lead us up to the last camp site, the Campamento Torres. A lot of snow there, too. After setting up the tent we went up to the Mirador Los Torres. And we were lucky. ‘Cause we saw the three Torres! Wohoo!
The next day was an easy hike to the Hotel Las Torres, where we waited for the bus back to Puerto Natales. After a good shower we went for a good (late) birthday dinner: Patagonian lamb, wine, and a Crème brûlée with an espresso as desert. Mhmmm. Afterward I was reading all my birthday mails. Thanks for all the good wishes! I just have awesome friends!
Greats from a great hike