In Patagonia, the isolation makes it easy to exaggerate the person you are: the drinker drinks; the devout prays; the lonely grows lonelier, sometimes fatallyBruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
Words that perfectly catch the essence of a journey in Patagonia. Find the essence of this land means discovering much more of yourself through an inner deep journey. A voyage towards la fin del mundo is the transposition of a solitary research of a peaceful state of mind reachable through a dip in great nature.
From El Calafate to the Torres del Paine National Park
We leave El Calafate early in the morning. We only stopped here for one night, back to our stay in El Chalten. El Chalten is a small village that reminds me the Everwood series, probably for its stillness. The town is a base camp for excursions on the Fitz Roy area with a great natural surrounding and what else? I remember it for two other reasons! The first one is a wonderful with a grape must covered glaze lamb I ate at the Restaurant Estepa. One of the best dishes I ever tried. The second reason has to do with 10 postcards I sent to Italy for the modest sum of 40eur. Postcards have never arrived to the addresees and I start thinking this was my condemn for having enjoyed the poor little lamb. Back to our trip. We leave our hotel in El Calafate at 5.30 a.m. Our van drives solitary on the famous Ruta 40, carrying passengers from every edge of the word.
Everyone is asleep and the surrounding landscape seems as well. It takes two and a half hours to reach today destination: the Torres del Paine National Park. We cross the Patagonian Steppe from North to South till we arrive at Chanca Carrera: for the umpteenth time we cross the border between Argentina and Chile.
The Torres del Paine National Park
We finally get into the Torres del Paine National Park. The “Blue Towers“, Tehuelche language, due to the predominant color, are the undisputed protagonists of this wild landscape, but the magic is all around. The nature rule the roost. In the park you might be able to see rheas, guanacos, Patagonian hare, and even condors. Immediately we see wild guanacos roaming the windy plains. It is a long day, but it deserves every moment.
The Torres del Paine Park offers a large variety of proposals for trekking lovers. Due to the time at our disposal we opt for a short three hours trek, which is however a great opportunity to enjoy the stunning nature. We walk among the bushes on beaten paths, till we arrive to the Salto Grande waterfall. This is an amazingly noisy funnel which pours the blue water of the Nordenskjöld Lake into the quit sky-blue of the Pehoe Lake.
Our guide shares some useful tips with us. As often wind gusts very hard, we need to close our pockets as our jackets would inflate by wind and jeopardize our balance. Fortunately wind is quite mild today. We move closer to the Torres, three giant monoliths shapes through millenniums by the strength of water and wind. They seem to squash us, as they are very massive. It’s however soon after that I catch the beauty of this mountains. From the banks of the Pehoe Lake with its brilliant surface I definitely fall in love with the surrounding landscape with embraces me.
- you need to buy an entrance ticket to get into the park. Credit cards and foreign currencies are not accepted. Be sure you have chilean pesos with you. For fees and other information click here
- choose your trekking considering your physical training. Here some info about the W and O circuits
- even if you choose a simple trek make sure you have a technical equipment, sun glasses and a sun cream
- There are several sporting goods stores in the nearest towns, however prices are quite high. Therefore I suggest to bring everything you may need from home.