Monday, November 20, 6:18 pm

You have been on the go all day. Finally, you have a few hours in the evening to just relax. So you’re sitting in the bar of the lodge, staring at the spectacular view. You have hundreds of pictures yet to download from your camera from the last two days and you can’t wait to see them but you just want to sit here and do nothing. You have seen all kinds of flora and fauna for the first time.

Scenery that knocked your socks off. Weather that included brutal winds, sleet, snow, rain, clouds, and sun. You have hiked to places you never imagined you’d ever go.

Today I know exactly how you feel.

View from Lago Grey Lodge
View from Lago Grey Lodge

We drove from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine National Park yesterday, about 320 kilometers. We started at 53 south and ended at 51 south. The original plan had us doing one hike yesterday and two hikes today. But because of the crazy weather, we switched things up. Yesterday the wind would have made the scheduled hike unpleasant, so we did a different hike in a more sheltered area. Then today someone’s car flipped over in the wind, so we had to do the afternoon hike in the morning and vice versa.

I have no adjectives. Whether driving and snapping photos through the bus windows, or hiking and stopping almost constantly to take another picture, it was all… well, here is a small sampling of pictures. At some point I will have to go through all my pictures to decide which ones to post in my online album. I have no idea how I will figure out which ones will make the cut.

Guanacos
The first time we saw guanacos was on the drive from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine. Then we saw so many more in the park that it went from being a thrill to kind of the equivalent of spotting a pigeon in St. Mark’s Square or a squirrel in Central Park.
Lago Grey in the wind
Lago Grey. Those are waves. On a lake. Caused by the wind. Which was fierce.
Lake
One of the prettiest lakes in the park.
Los Cuernos
I took a lot of pictures of Los Cuernos (the horns), and this is one of my favorites. The greyish-white rock is granite. The black on top is metamorphic sedimentary rock, which is much softer and is usually worn away, but on these mountains has not yet done so.
Los Cuernos
This view of Los Cuernos was the reward at the end of one of our hikes.
Valley
This valley appeared after hiking from Laguna Largo over a crest. The most special moment of our entire two days in the park. A place of idyllic beauty.

Come to Torres del Paine! You’ve been good and you deserve to see this for yourself.

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