Trekking the W- circuit in Torres del Paine National Park

Arrived in Patagonia and now you are ready for some trekking? Do not miss the W-trek in Chile.

I did this W-trek with g-adventure; I really enjoyed that trip. Everything was organised, they look after you and the best part is that you meet some great like-minded people from around the world.

The first day of the W-trek was an 8-9 hours hike to the majestic granite towers of Paine. If you have missed my post about the challenges trekking to the Torres please read here.

On day 2 we left early our camping site and stopped for seeing a waterfall. It was so windy, I couldn’t believe it. You basically walked forward 10 steps and were blown back 8 steps. A group of trekkers passed us and one woman had broken her nose as she got hit by some rocks. That was a wake up call for all of us. Back in the car we waited for the ferry to cross the lake Pehoe. Well actually we were not sure if the ferry would even go but they are probably so used to the wind, so no problem at all. We crossed the beautiful turquoise lake and arrived at our next camping site.

Torres del Paine National park
Torres del Paine National park

After having our lunch we started our trekking through the beautiful french valley. I thought they are kidding us going trekking in that kind of windy conditions but the valley was actually protected. On the photo below you can see how the wind is blowing on the surface of the lake. The sky formation was very unique and beautiful.

A windy day in Torres del Paine, Patagonia
A windy day in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

The walk through the french valley was an 6-8 hours trek. Arrived at the viewing point you can see the glacier formed in a cirque hidden deep in the ribs of the Paine massif. Very impressive.

the glacier in shape of a cirque hidden deep in the ribs of hte Paine massif
the glacier in shape of a cirque hidden deep in the ribs of hte Paine massif

Back at the campsite we enjoyed our dinner, had some drinks and very bad but cheap wine called ‘Gato’. Well good enough for camping and at least you will always remember the fun you had being in a group drinking ‘Gato’. I cannot recommend that wine but we made the best out of the situation and laughed about it. The wind luckily started to ease down so we could catch up with some missing sleep from the previous windy night.

Getting up early in the morning and seeing this scenery cannot be described in words. I got excited, grabbed my camera and went for a walk around that lake and just enjoyed being in this beautiful place with striking scenery. The colours in Patagonia are just incredible. I have never seen that many rainbows in three days in my life.

rainbow in Torres del Paine NP
rainbow in Torres del Paine NP

It was a very peaceful morning. Another day of trekking was ahead of us and the weather looked promising.

Sky formation
colours in Torres del Paine

After having a big breakfast we started trekking day number 3. It is tiring though but a great experience at the same time.

The trek ended at the Grey glacier which is the main attraction in Patagonia. At one end there is this massive Patagonian ice field and at the other a 40 metre wall of ice of which pieces fall into the Grey lake and gives it its beautiful milky blue to green colour.

Did I say the weather was promising and sunny? Well that changes quickly, so enjoy each moment. The weather is very unpredictable. You can see the clouds hanging over the Grey lake and a light rainbow disappearing on the right hand side. It started raining and together with the blowing wind it was not very pleasant. Suddenly it was cold and we had to wrap us up in our second layer of clothes.

day 3 of the W-trek in Torres del Paine, Chile
day 3 of the W-trek in Torres del Paine, Chile

Arrived at the viewing point it felt like being in winter. It was raining but we still managed to see this massive glacier hiding behind the fog.

the Grey lake and glacier in Torres del Paine, Chile, Patagonia
the Grey lake and glacier in Torres del Paine, Chile, Patagonia

Patagonia is an amazing part of the world. The colours of the nature are breathtaking and it felt so peaceful being here. The weather can change quickly with having 4 seasons in one day, the wind can be very challenging but all this is the reason why the landscape is so beautiful and unique.

Follow my blog if you are interested in more travel stories from South- and Northamerica. My next travel post will be about the most southern city in the world ‘Ushuaia’ and the beagle channel.

Happy travel. Stay tuned.

 

 

The challenges you face when trekking in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

Torres del Paine

After trekking in Fitz Roy National park, Patagonia and visiting the massive Perito Moreno glacier I got so excited to travel further to Torres del Paine National park in Chile.

A three day trekking tour was about to start. After a bus drive from Perito Moreno glacier to Punto Natales we got prepared with camping equipment, had a night of rest in Punto Natales before we took our bus to Torres del Paine National Park early in the morning.

On our way to the national park we could see some big storm clouds over the mountain range and a beautiful rainbow appearing on the horizon. I knew this trip will be amazing.

Chile
storm clouds and the rainbow in Torres del Paine National Park

You get also to see the guanacos here in Patagonia, what beautiful animals. This is a native South American animal which is around 1 to 1.2m high and can weigh up to 90kg. The fur is very soft and their fibre is being used in luxury fabric.

Guanacos in Torres del Paine
Guanacos in Torres del Paine

Arrived at the entrance of the National park, everybody got ready and dressed up for trekking. Backpacks on our shoulders and walking sticks for the ones who felt more comfortable with it. I definitely was one of them.

Suddenly we could hear this loud sound of the wind, the dirt from the gravel road started blowing in all directions. I could not believe it. I learned very quickly that this is pretty normal in Patagonia. In case it happens while you are trekking at the edge of the mountains, go down on your knees, cover your head and pray:) It only lasts a few seconds but the wind can be very strong and blow you away especially when you are a tiny and skinny person.

I had my camera equipment in my backpack and was worried about it; however, my bag from f-stop passed this test. It was sometimes a challenge to walk with that heavy bag of 8 kg on my back while going through those windy phases.

So, we started walking in the beautiful sunny weather but were experiencing some strong wind attacks. I unfortunately don’t have many photos of that day as it was just too windy and all the dirt blowing everywhere. I decided my camera was better protected in my bag. You can expect having 4 seasons in one day. Walking on the edge of the mountains can be very exposed to the strong winds, especially when there are no trees. That windy day was really challenging for me but in the end so worth it. The last one hour of trekking up to the top was the hardest for me. You have to climb up the big rocks and sometimes cannot even see the pathway. Just follow the crowd. Again a massive wind attack hit us and rocks smashing against our legs, in that moment you go down on your knees and hope for the best. The weather changed from cold and windy to rainy and then sunny and warm.

Finally arrived at the top you see this beautiful turquoise lake and the Torres del Paine towers surrounded by clouds and fog. Our tour guide had a nice surprise for us: a bottle of champagne. What a great idea, exactly what you need after going through all those challenges. I have to say I have never experienced trekking in such windy conditions. In that moment you are packed with adrenalin but also excited and hope everything will be fine and god is watching and protecting you anyways. It was so windy up there that you could rarely breath.

Torres del Paine
The towers of Torres del Paine

After enjoying a bit of champagne at the top we walked back for roughly 4 hours to the parking area where the bus was waiting for us to take us to our first camping site. I was on a g-adventure trip. The first camping site was pretty amazing: we had the private site just for ourselves. After travelling around Argentina you get a lot of meat, potatoes and bread. Most of us were graving for vegetables. We had such an amazing delicious home cooked dinner with lots of fresh vegetables and meat.

Everybody was hoping for the wind to stop to have a quiet and good night sleep. Well, that wasn’t meant to be the case for us. The wind was unbelievable strong and loud. My dad always taught me not to hang around underneath trees when it is windy. Guess what? The tents were directly underneath the trees. Well, looks like we just had to trust that everything will be fine. The family from this camp site were looking after us very well and even had to fix up some of our tents mid in the night. One of the tents was about to lift up in the air. You couldn’t really say we slept well during that night. At one stage the roof of the tent hit me on my nose. Well, that’s definitely called adventure.

I am not a morning person but at 5am I had enough from the wind,  so I got up and took my camera out to take some morning photos. It has calmed down a tiny bit. I was the first one awake and enjoyed the early morning in pure nature. I was so lucky to see a light beautiful rainbow.

The home cooked breakfast was great and exactly what you need to start another day of trekking.

rainbow in Torres del Paine
early in the morning in Torres del Paine National Park. Can you see the rainbow.

In my following post I will share the experience on the second hiking day in the Patagonian beautiful nature with non-stopping wind.

Happy travel and stay tuned.

Faith can move mountains

mountains Southamerica

Sometimes we just have to let go and trust that things work out. We need a certain level of control over our lives, some people more than others. However, not everything can be controlled. In these kind of situations we have to have faith.

With faith we put all worries to the side and accept things the way they are. What will happen is meant to be and happened for a reason. Having faith does not necessarily mean we need to pray; it can mean we sit back and trust people around us. You might be on an airplane and trust the pilot will do a great job, maybe you need to go for a surgery and trust in the skills of the doctor or if something you really wanted didn’t work out, it maybe wasn’t the right thing for you and something better comes up soon. Have faith and belief. Faith can move mountains.

Let go of the things that are out of your hand and focus on the things you can control. Trust everything else will work out and you will realise how much weight you just lifted off your shoulders.

Faith can move mountains

mountains Southamerica
Torres del Paine after a stormy night early in the morning. The rainbow on the horizon is vanishing.