Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Day 47: Spring Break/Patagonia Pt. 2

After more planes, buses, and Catamarans, we finally made it to Torres Del Paine 2 days after we were supposed to!!

We had initially planned to do the "W trek" where our path literally followed the shape of a W. This map shows the path we walked--the pink is the trek we actually did while the orange line shows the part we had to eliminate because of our flight hiccup. Each star represents the hostel, or "refugio" we stayed in each night. 

The Refugio's were considered luxurious hotels in comparison to the alternative--outdoor camping. However, B.a.e and I knew instantly that we weren't the roughing it type of people. In a Refugio, there were about 6-10 beds per room, each bed going for about $50 a night. By no means were these cheap! Dinner meals were $25, cokes were $4, and worst of all, cup noodles were $4 too! Yet, that cup noodle with a coke was 10 times more delicious than my meal at 1789. Was I biased? Eh...I think not! 

The people we met were absolutely amazing. Think of the coolest, most hipster like person you know...and then multiply that by 20. First of all, we were the youngest trekkers by 20 years. That's not even an exaggeration. One night, we celebrated the birthday of a 70 year old man. The next morning we found out that we were sitting next to a man who wrote JFK asking to be a part of the first Peace Corps!! And here we were, two college students with no life experiences what so ever. Yolo??? 

Days on the trek typically started with picking up all the clothes that were left out to dry the night before. Because the hike involved stepping through streams, I typically put 3 to 4 plastic bags over my socks to ensure that they would stay dry for most of the day. Classy right? But, it was all worth it for these views. 

I felt like I was a hobbit in Middle Earth

The constant inclines and declines were absolutely brutal. The entire time I was thinking, how are the 70 year olds doing this? I had trained for a few months before our trip, and I was major struggling at points. We walked for about 5-6 hours each day going from Refugio to Refugio, making small talk with hikers nearby.

The last morning we decided to wake up at 4 in the morning to catch the sunrise at the look out point that was considered the grand finale of the W trek. The Torres, translated to the towers, are three gigantic spires that shoot into the sky. It's a breathtaking sight, which is elevated to a whole new level at sunrise when the sun turns the entire view bright pink. We stumbled in the dark to climb over boulders, and we all fully understood the risk of tragically falling to our deaths, but I am happy to report that no one died! And we completely lucked out when we saw this amazing sight. 

10 minutes after the sunrise! Still amazed at catching this sight!

After 3 days amazing days and 4 chilly nights, it was time to end our trip on the most beautiful day possible. We were all still so elated at completing this once in a lifetime hike, and we were all definitely in a celebratory mood. B.a.e and I separated from our friend group with the anticipation of meeting them back in Santiago, while we stayed one final night in the small town that accommodated all the hikers!

You may be wondering if I took any more photos. In fact, I lugged around a DSLR the entire time in hopes of catching all these ethereal sights and sharing it with everyone at home. However, our luck changed and these iPhone pictures are all I have left. But more on that tomorrow!

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