Everyday during our trip we commented on how lucky we’d been to have such incredibly nice weather in Patagonia. I packed really light (will post my packing list later) but ended up not wearing half the things I had in my backpack because it only rained twice (while we were sleeping) and never got very cold. But on January 10, 2012, our last day in Torres del Paine, we woke up to see a fresh coat of snow and heavy clouds covering the mountains. We’d done our hike up there just two days ago and had we been a couple of days late, I’m sure I would have had to bring out all the thermal layers and hats and gloves and whatnot. Burrr!
Below is the same view of the towers and the mountains the night before. I was beginning to doubt it but everyone was right about Patagonia’s unpredictable weather.
We were supposed to take a catamaran ride to see the famous Grey Glacier but since the route to the glacier was smack in the middle of where the fire had burned, Carola and Sandra took us on another hike. I’m sure I would have loved seeing this glacier and I hope one day I will return to Torres del Paine, but the hike we did on day 3 was beautiful. We were actually on someone’s private property and ended up getting lost for just a short while, which made things even more fun (at least for me it did). How can you not be in love with Torres del Paine, Chile, and Patagonia when everywhere you look you see this?
Torres del Paine National Park is so big (~600k acres) that you can easily hike without seeing another human being. Many walk the “W” route in 5 days or hike the full circle in 8-9 days, but I think one can spend a few weeks there and not see the same landscape twice. Carola, for one, said her favorite place in the world is the French Valley in Torres del Paine and after we finished our trip in Ushuaia, she went straight back to Torres del Paine again to hike for 3 days.
For me this was the end of my stay in Torres del Paine and possibly the last long hike I was going to do in Patagonia. It saddened me a bit to leave such a wonderful place but having had an amazing time there, I was ready for our next destination. Punta Arenas and penguins!