Our Chile and Argentina Specialist, Ceri, is a bona fide thrill-seeker; when she’s not running marathons, she’s off exploring new sights and breathtaking scenery – this gal has an adventure-tale for every destination! This time, she’s sharing her tales of chilly nights and uphill hikes in Torres del Paine.
The start of an adventure
Back in 2006, I went backpacking on a shoestring in Patagonia with my friend Amy. We couldn’t afford an organised trip into the Torres del Paine National Park so we found ourselves a friendly Irish backpacker named Colin and convinced him to drive us. We hired a car not quite knowing what we were letting ourselves in for…
A chilly night’s sleep
After paying our entrance fees, we hadn’t really considered the sleeping arrangements and after enquiring found that the dormitory beds in the refugio were out of our price range at $50 a pop! It was decided to fold down the back seat and sleep sandwiched in the back of the car! Needless to say, it was freezing and we slept in all of our clothes, hats, gloves and scarves.
Time to climb!
It’s a wonder we were able to scrape enough energy together for the unforgettable climb to the “base de torres”. It was a steep 4 hour uphill hike with beautiful views all around but also pretty tough, with loose rocks to scramble up on all fours for the last hour.
What a view…
I was slipping with fatigue and had started to question whether it was worth it as I had already seen the photographs(!) but when I finally reached the summit we were rewarded with the famous picture-perfect postcard view and I breathed a deep sigh of relief.
An unforgettable highlight
Awe inspired, I ran down full of energy for another night’s rest in the car/fridge before continuing our adventure around the park on various other day hikes such as Grey glacier with its grey/blue lake. Dotted around the stark landscape, we saw many llamas amongst the snow covered peaks. For me, this was an unforgettable experience and the highlight of my six week stint in Argentina and Chile.
Fancy a go?
Feeling inspired by Ceri’s experience but don’t fancy sleeping in a car? We have a great alternative place to stay – it’s basic but comfortable and has open fires to warm your cockles after a long day hiking on this 5 day trekking trip through Torres del Paine.