Torres Del Paine

Had a slight delay at Heathrow, which meant I missed my connecting flight to Buenos Aires (BA) and so was stuck in Sao Paulo for 5 hours.. not to much of a problem as I sat in the Business lounge.. who said this backpacking stuff was supposed to be bad?

The flight BA was an interesting one too.. ended up sitting next to two actors who were flying over to film a Coca Cola advert for Europe.. so if any off you see a Coke advert with Kiss (the rock group) racing through BA.. I saw the actors.. then it got even better. Waiting in the Customs queue at BA, I got chatting to a Brazilian guy.. he turned out to be an ex professional footballer – Silias who played for Sampdoria in the 92 European Cup Final at Wembley.. so got his autograph as you do!! In BA didn’t really do much as I had a flight at 6am the following morning to Ushuaia…still decided to go out for a few cheeky cevesa´s… at about 3am I decided it was best to carry on drinking and go straight to the airport… which, based on past history wasn´t the best idea but I made it one piece!!

Ushuaia, is the “Southern most city in the world”.. complete contrast in weather to that off BA, where it was really hot.. Ushuaia greeted as with typical English weather!!! Didn’t do much that day, apart from search out the local bars and clubs.. which there were not many off, but still had two Irish Bars??? The following day, took a boat trip across the Beagle Channel to a Penguin colony, quite spectacular really.. got some nice pics to email over (another day).. the rest of the trip took us to Gable Island were we trekked round for a few hours.. quite embarrassing when two 75yr old Americans can keep the pace better than me!! On the Sunday (6th) I joined an overland tour which will take me from Ushuaia to Santiago (Chile)… morning spent meeting the group.. which for me turned out to be quite easy.. walked in to the hostel where the were meeting and I knew two of the group from back in UK.. small world hey!! That afternoon, took another Beagle crossing to see some Sea Lions in there natural habitat, again more pics later. The final day in Ushuaia was spent at the National Park – Tierra Del Fuego.. after yet more trekking, took a two hour canoe trip across the Beagle.. I surprised myself, I did more activities in 3 days off my year out, than I had the previous whole year… that was just a sign of things to come though!!

Left Ushuaia in our lovely Orange “Tour Touga” up to Torres Del Paine in Chile… yet another National Park. Day one was spent climbing 4 hours plus in gorgeous weather to see the famous Towers.. again, you will have to see the pictures too really appreciate what we saw… then 4 hours down again. I have to be honest, this particular day pushed my physical levels to the limits.. the terrain was very mountainous, and the last hour up involved clambering over some big boulders.. which were just as hard coming back down!! Day 2, in contrast was a lot easier but just as much hard work. We took a 4 hour trek up to a Rufigio, the base of Grey Glacier, though the terrain was more “foresty”, the inclines took there toll.. but as is the theme for this update, wait till you see the pictures.. Glacier was awesome, and you can get quite close to it. It´s not active, and while we there we didn´t see much falling over or much other action. Spent Day 3 getting back to our campsite.. which after all that walking was like coming back to a 5 Star hotel!!…

Left Torres Del Paine, or as I like to call it Towers of Pain – because that’s what they were.. to come to El Calafate (Argentina), home off Los Glacieries National Park. Spent the day visiting Moreno Glacier, which in contrast to Grey Glacier is very active and while we there we some spectacular carving i.e the Glacier ends falling off in the lake. The sound that this creates can only be described as one big thunder storm….

That in a nutshell takes me up to today, I haven’t gone in to details about the days travelling in between some of the towns and parks as they are spent sitting on the truck, either sleeping or playing cards.. and I have to confess I am the king of Sh!t Head now, but then I knew that anyway..

Tomorrow off to do a Glacier walk and Ice Climb, which I am really looking forward too..

So that’s it from me for a while, I got plenty of exciting things coming up which I will tell you about soon, including my first real night out… good am I looking forward to harassing the locals and a few beers. If I call one of you with my only phone call from a dodgy Argentinian Jail, please don’t hang up!!

Bye for now

Mins

Credits

Torres Del Paine- Bill Hertha