Tag: Torres del Paine

Chile Wrap-Up

Oh Chile, where do we begin? You were an expensive place to hang out but you were totally worth it. We’ll be back again someday, that we do know. Here is a quick wrap-up of the loving, loathing and eating that went on in Chile (in no particular order).


  1. Ferry Ride at Torres del Paine

    Friends far away – Getting to hang with Drew and Francisco in Puerto Natales was definitely the highlight of this great land. We knew we were headed all the way down to see them before we even left the US, and there are not many places we can say that about in regards to our trip planning.

  2. Torres del Paine ferry ride – The day we had was unfair to the many before us who have endured rain, snow and wind in this park without seeing a damn thing. The views from the boat and the water color we traveled through were just unreal.
  3. Navimag Party Night – The night started with the adventurous backpackers posing for pictures in just their bathing suits in front of the glacier, and ended with Sarah salsa dancing with a local Chilean named Mauricio. In between, we bonded with our British roommates, met some Dartmouth lacrosse players and were entertained by a Dutch airline pilot that is surely too young to fly passenger planes.
  4. First view of Cochamo Valley – Arriving by horseback to a wide open clearing and being surrounded by gigantic granite walls that climbers dream about was indeed memorable.
  5. Vicente Perez Rosales National Park

    Ted’s birthday celebration – A great seafood dinner, and some drinks with new friends.

  6. Staying at Francisco’s house – This man has good taste. His house is great, his view is from a postcard, his puppy is adorable and he is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. We made ourselves at home.
  7. Walking along the shore of Vicente Perez Rosales National Park with our shoes off and feet in the water – Not your typical beach but a gorgeous shoreline along a fjord nonetheless.
  8. Rafting – Thanks to Gerardo and Adventures Within Reach, Ted and I got to kick off Ted’s birthday was a ½ day white-water rafting trip. We had a raft to ourselves (with a guide, of course) and had a hilariously wet time.
  9. Meeting inspiring people – Kurt and Armin have a pretty awesome thing going at Campo Aventura. A tourist operation in a foreign country may not be for everyone, but the point is that they had BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) and they went for it.
  10. Endless daylight – Okay, it doesn’t stay light all night like it does in Alaska and Northern Scandinavia but it stays light until after 10pm and brightens up again by 5am. We kept getting messed up with the time because the lighting outside did not reflect the time it said on our watches.


  1. Food on the Navimag – We have been spoiled with some amazing food on our trip but the food on the Navimag left something to be desired. Think cafeteria food.
  2. Rough Seas on the Navimag

    Big Wave night on the Navimag – I hate to be picking on the Navimag as we did thoroughly enjoy ourselves, however, the rolling waves on our second night at sea were intense and many people were miserable. We weren’t miserable, per se, but it wasn’t fun.

  3. First dorm bed experience – I thought being 30 and being married would somehow prevent us from sharing a dorm room on our travels however, I was wrong. The cost of stuff in Chile is not cheap and we opted for a dorm room at one of our hostels to save a little money (it would not be the last).
  4. Constant wind and cold – Particularly in the way southern part of Chile. We were there on the front end of their summer but you wouldn’t know it. I was walking around with my down jacket and my rain coat on top of it (as a wind-breaker) at all times.
  5. An unplanned long walk – We arrived in Chile by bus and having no Chilean pesos handy, we had to schlep our bags and our stuff for several miles from the highway to our hostel. At least Ted has an amazing sense of direction.


  1. Thanksgiving, Chilean-style

    Thanksgiving – We didn’t have turkey, but we did roast a bird (chicken). Drew whipped up an amazing gravy and some yams. We topped it off with mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls. Mmmm.

  2. Pisco Sours – Pisco Sours are a delicious cocktail served down here that we quite love. Peru thinks they invented Pisco Sours and Chile thinks they did. After drinking many in both countries, we’ve got to say that Chile has got our vote hands down.
  3. Amazing seafood dinner with Gerardo – Gerardo is the local Chilean that we met with several times and who owns the rafting company in town. We let him pick the restaurant and do the ordering and he hit the ball out of the park.
  4. Chino workin the dough

    Francisco’s Meal – Francisco was a busy man when we were down visiting him in Puerto Natales, but on one of the nights we were all around, he spoiled us with some delicious chile, fresh homemade bread and some of the best guacamole I’ve ever tasted.

  5. Homemade bread in Cochamo Valley – After our 5+ hour horseback ride into the Cochamo Valley, we were welcomed with fresh homemade bread for a snack. It was amazing. Our hostess proceeded to make more batches of fresh bread which we continued to eat for dinner and again for breakfast the next morning.

To see more of the great time we had here, check out our Best of Chile photos.

Pretty Much the Most Beautiful National Park in the World

We’re talking about Torres del Paine National Park, just outside of Puerto Natales, Chile. Ted and I don’t have the gear for backpacking or even camping with us on our trip, but as we were staying and visiting friends before going to the park, Drew and Francisco hooked us up with everything we needed (thanks fellas!).

Beyond its stunning and rugged beauty, the most common thing we heard about the park was its unpredictable and rather horrendous weather. It is a very windy place always, but combine that with blowing rain and snow and throw in some super muddy trails and you are in for a long day of hiking.

Our friend Francisco is a guide in the park so he outlined what he called the best way to do it. Most people do the ‘W’ route, which is a reference to the shape of your walking path that allows you to see the park’s highlights. The path Francisco recommended was an abbreviated ‘W’ which allowed us to see nearly the same highlights without have to carry our packs long distances. Also, with the unpredictable weather, his plan allowed us to stay multiple nights in one place which would avoid setting up or putting down a tent in the rain. I liked the sound of his plan.

View from (near) our first campsite

So after all the negative weather build-up, on the morning we arrived at the park the weather was gorgeous. Blue skies, very little wind and no sign of it changing. We quickly selected our camping site and headed up to see the Park’s nomiker – the Towers of Paine. Though we were sweating when we arrived at the top, the cold biting wind quickly cooled us down. It was a beautiful view and we were thankful to have seen them at all because the clouds often hide the view.

The hike up to the Torres

The Torres del Paine

Amazing towers

The second day involved taking a ferry boat over to another camping area. We once again had an amazing weather day and we couldn’t believe our luck. The view from the ferry of Torres del Paine’s mountains and glaciers against the surreal blue color of the glacial lake was absolutely phenomenal.

View from the boat

The second day was a relaxed one and we did some exploring around the area and took bunches of pictures because the weather and views were just too good.

The VIEWS!!!

Glacial Lakes

Wicked peaks

The third was a 30 km (~18 mile) hike up into the French Valley and back. The weather this day was not the best but we got a bit of sunshine along with clouds, rain, wind as well. You spend half of the day hiking next to an enormous glacier that would thunder and calve every few minutes. The view from the top was a little cloudy but nonetheless a wide open bowl with 365 degree views. Needless to say we were EXHAUSTED at the end of this day because neither one of us hiked so much in a day in a very long time, if ever!

Big glaciers in the French Valley

Looking back down the French Valley

But no rest for the weary! The last day also involved another 30 km hike to a glacier. I just couldn’t do it. I could have hiked for 4-6 hours but I did not have another 8+ hour day in me so Ted set out alone. I had a relaxing morning reading and napping and cleaning up camp while Ted was on his feet for another long day. I was very impressed.

Glacier shots

Glacier Shots

When we got back to Puerto Natales that night we were pooped! A couple beers at Drew’s brewery with some friends we met from the Navimag ferry and then we were really ready for bed.

The park is incredible and worth every day you can spend in it. We were spoiled by two days of phenomenal weather but even those who get rained on love it and that includes us too!

Picture of the Week

So many amazing shots from Torres del Paine to choose from.  But this one stands out for its crazy halo cloud.

Torres del Paine

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