After our time in El Calafate and Perito Moreno Glacier, it was time to head into Chile, towards Torres del Paine National Park, one of the highlights of my whole trip. The night prior we spent the night in Puerto Natales and prepared ourselves for 2 nights camping and the supplies we would need.
The “W” trek is the big route hikers do in Torres del Paine and our plan was to complete 2 of the major hikes of that circuit. Unfortunately the really warm weather plus some rain was causing the glaciers to melt faster and the rivers were flooded. That caused a closing of the bridge we needed to cross to start the W trek into the French Valley. Instead of the planned hike we ended up elsewhere in the park hiking through the hills (rather than mountains- yay!) for some gorgeous views of the Cordillera Paine (the mountain range in Torres del Paine).
We ate calafate berries on the hike, which legend assures that one will return to Patagonia if calafate berries are eaten. But be warned- calafate berries stain your mouth very, very purple! Back in El Calafate I ate calafate ice cream which was amazing! According to the legend I am destined to return here again!
The purple one is calafate ice cream:
Hiking snack time- calafate berries and granola bars:
Guanaco along the trail:
Guanaco are the deer of Patagonia- always along the side of the roads, occasionally running in front of cars. In Patagonia they are a staple of the cuisine. I had Guanaco stew and it was delicious! The guanaco were giving me the beady eye because they knew about the stew.
Overall we hiked around 12 miles of fairly hilly terrain. It was a nice change from the longer, more mountainous hikes. Tomorrow’s hike is going to be a killer!
We stopped at a waterfall on the way to our campground for the night.
I love the beautiful glacier water:
Our private campground in Torres del Paine for the first night:
It had quite the view! Crawling into a tiny tent is hilarious. I bundled up for sleeping in all my warm clothes, except my coat which I used as a pillow. It was a little chilly as suddenly a cold front moved through dropping temperatures below freezing! Brrrrrr!
More adventures in Torres del Paine coming soon!
Reader Question: Have you ever tent camped? Tent camped in below freezing temps?