The vast Country – Two weeks in Patagonia

And another dream came true: Patagonia, which had us captured our imagination since we had a quick look at a photo book in the Dresden “Globetrotter” shop, lay in front of us. We had long wondered whether we should strain our very limited time and tight budget, but the lure of the endless expanse was too strong. And it was worth it.
After our arrival in Punta Arenas, we went straight on to Puerto Natales, the starting point for our planned visit to the Torres-del-Paine-National Park (Torres del Paine = The blue Towers). There, we were first shocked by the huge bus and entry costs, but we were there only once, so we booked the bus into the park for the next day. On our bus ride the overcast sky finally brightened up and we could even see the famous towers.

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Then we went on a ferry to the starting point of our 6-day “W”-route-hike. At the end of a tiresome first day we were rewarded with a fantastic view of the Grey Glacier. The view on the huge inland ice rink was just terrific!

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The next day was no less strenuous, and brought us, along stunning mountains and glacial lakes, to the entrance of the French Valley. There we pitched our camp, while a thunderstorm rumbled in the mountains above us. The followin morning we climbed to the Camp Britannia, at the end of the valley. This walk offered stunning views to another glacier as well as some fantastic rock formations.

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While we just let our gaze wander over the frozen wall, a huge piece of ice broke free and thundered down the mountain with an avalanche slope. The thunderstorm of the day before turned out to be glacial ruptures. Impressive.

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Arriving at Camp Britannia, completely fearless wood mice greeted us, which one could even stroke. After we had filled up our memory card, we went on the way back, but we were surprised by a snow storm, which was to last for the whole night.

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The next morning we went on a thin snow cover further around the Torres massif, towards the famous towers. After another night we reached the base camp for the climb to the Torres. From there we went straight up to the look out. Unfortunately, the weather was slightly overcast, but you could still see the rock needles quite well, and imagined the difficulties ascending on them.

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On the last day we went back to the park entrance where we were picked up by a bus that took us to Puerto Natales, from wherewe went straight back to Punta Arenas. And from there it went further on to Ushuaia on Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost city in the world.