I thought I'd been camping before, but staying in a cabin in the woods for a week or two did nothing to prepare me for camping along the famous W circuit in the Torres del Paine. It was brutal - I could literally barely carry my backpack - but completely and utterly worth it for the gorgeous views. I've never seen a more beautiful park! The winds were 50 mph at times, we spent the entire week either frozen solid or baking inside all of our jackets, and by the time we made it back to our tent each night we were all bone tired, but I've never been someplace so awe-inspiring. Even the most hardened city dweller couldn't set foot in Patagonia without being moved - Glacier Grey alone was enough to make me seriously consider emigrating to the Andes.
We decided to start hiking on the east side of the park so that we could get to the base of the Mirador las Torres the next day, and that's the only thing I really regret about our trek. The weather was so sunny and clear that we thought it'd make for perfect climbing weather, but with full packs on the first day we were worn out long before we reached our campsite. The climb to the base of the Torres was so arduous that it discouraged us from attempting to hike further for the rest of the trip - we thought every trail would be as difficult as the one from the Chileno to the mirador had been, but by the time we made it to Glacier Grey we realized we had just started the climb on a much steeper trail.
Even though the climb up to the base of the Torres was so difficult (we took almost twice as long as everyone else - whoops!) the view was spectacular. I felt like I'd stepped onto the surface of the moon, to be honest.
I know this post was a little longer than usual but it was so difficult trying to cut photos out of it! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. This is actually going to be the last Travel Tuesday featuring photos from Chile - next up: Montreal, NYC, and New Orleans!
It literally took me months to get this post up (and the penguins/Patagonia part two are still in the works, but life has gotten incredibly busy these last few weeks. Let me know if there's anything else you want to see (food, outfits, packing posts) or if you have any questions about how we prepared for the W Trek - I could do a Q&A post if you want - and have a great weekend!