Thursday, May 28, 2015

Our Chilean Adventure Part 3


Sick of these recaps, yet? Suckers- we are just kicking off the hiking portion of the trip. In case you missed it, my husband and I went on a backpacking trip in Torres del Paine, a national park in Southern Chile. We just left off, by ARRIVING.

The catamaran lands on the edge of Lake Pehoe and here we are- officially kicking off the W circuit trek. Looking around the boat you see all these trekkers headed out on their trips, huge backpacks in tow, feet sans 2 inch blisters, and you can feel the palpable excitement in the air. This is where we made our first mistake. You know what else we smelled in the air? Hyper-confidence. We looked around, scoped out the other trekkers, and felt pretty confident in ourselves. Drunk on fresh air, we decided to start in hyper drive. Get out in front of the slow pokes. Maybe even be the first at camp that night. Look at this face below... confidence right?


Wrong... this is the face of erased confidence about 15 minutes after a wardrobe malfunction. You see, yes we did try to get out in front of everyone- ironic since 99.8% of the time on the trek we didn't see a soul, but I digress. We had high hopes for what excellent trekkers we would be, but literally our first steps onto the trail were plagued with ineptitude. It all started with a simple task- to take off our windbreakers. However, it was like watching a drunk toddler put on shoes. There were too many layers, too little space in our packs (soon referred to as our horcruxes), a couple curse words, one definite picture-perfect moment of me falling on my backside like a turtle due to my horcrux, one of the windbreakers flying off into the wilderness, and a mini-internal meltdown. Here we were on the precipice of an INCREDIBLE and CHALLENGING trek and I can't take my stupid windbreaker off without  causing a scene.

But on we went. We went up. We went down. We went through the trees. We went across the fields. We went climbing the mountain. We went tired. We went hungry. We went. AND today was supposed to be the easy day. 


Outlook number 1- note, we were still too gun shy to take off our horcrux packs. 


Even though day one was in theory the easiest day (in terms of distance and time), we were definitely still challenged. The scenery (okay and the hiking) took our breath away.



The highlight of the hiking this day was when we came upon Glacier Grey for the first time. I've never seen a sight like this before. The mountains parted and there was a huge expanse of ice. 



We got even closer for sunset and I wish I had photos that accurately depicted the colors we saw. It was stunning.




And here we are at the end of day 1. We made it through the 'easy' day and up to our campsite by Glacier Grey. This secluded part of the park was the perfect end to day one and started building confidence while the challenge settled in. This wasn't going to be a breeze of a trip- it was going to be difficult and all those cliff bars and peanut butter crackers were going to be instrumental in FINISHING. It was painfully apparent that there would be no way to get help or leave early on this trip. You're injured? That sucks, you still have to hike 5 days to get out of the park. Your tent broke? Sorry, you're going to have to deal with that. This is not the sissy-California/car camping/beer drinking (ok maybe a little)/ smore eating trip that we were under to. So maybe it was exhaustion or maybe it was sheer terror, but sleeping on the ground that night (in the semi-freezing cold) was one of the best nights sleep I've ever had.

Don't miss Day 2 of the trek... it includes a boiling water wake up call.

-S

3 comments:

  1. The views are reason enough to go on this once in a lifetime hike!! Such an amazing experience to share together! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  2. I love that view of Glacier Grey. So beautiful!

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  3. That picture of you in front of Glacier Grey is gorgeous!

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