Torres del Paine

This leg we hiked by: Aquamarine-colored lakes flanked by soft green cliffs with red flower bushes - Hawaii?? Icebergs and glaciers - Antartica?? Grassy plains sweeping up to jagged rock towers - Wyoming?? ...Then a gust of wind would knock us off-balance and we'd remember, we're in Patagonia! (c: If we weren't in love with Patagonia before, we definitely are now. Put Torres del Paine on your must-see list because it is truly majestic.

We passed nine days and eight nights in and surrounding the awe-inspiring Torres del Paine national park in Chile. Muchas gracias to Erratic Rock in Puerto Natales who facilitated the long leg with two food drops for us at the park entrances - keeping our packs nice and light!

  • No paved roads! We hiked a combination of back dirt roads, trails and off-roading.
  • Surviving another herd of cows with calves (we really need to learn cow etiquette/behavior)
  • Coming upon our first "refugio" in the park expecting a ranger station of sorts... instead, we found a modern backcountry lodge with a hotel, paid camping (yet we were too cheap for it and continued onward for the day), convenience store, and public windowed kitchen gazebo (so you can enjoy the view without the wind... brilliant)
  • Discovering the power behind pound cake
  • One full day without wind! It was glorious. Although we experienced some high wind gusts on this leg, they paled in comparison to Tierra del Fuego's wall o' wind.
  • Blue icebergs
  • Camping near a glacier at sunset
  • As we were filling our water bladders, we heard a deafening boom from the mountains above us. We witnessed an avalanche whose plume covered the entire peak (think the size of Long's Peak in CO) and whose aftermath poured snowfalls looking like water over its steep cliffs
  • Moving fast and light in the park... comparing ourselves to tourists with gargantuan packs out for only a few nights - our packs are tiny and include everything for the year!
  • At the park hotel (exiting the park), we found someone's forgotten, opened (but hardly eaten!) bag of quaker oat squares sitting on a railing. We inhaled them.
  • A warm shower and veggie-full salad after nine days in the backcountry (unfortunately, Shelley, who showered first, had a cold one because they forgot to turn the hot water on)
  • Wind
  • The first segment of Chile's official trail system "Sendero de Chile" (think Appalachian Trail) was unimproved trail and partially on (or immediately next to) a dirt road
  • We fall asleep to what we've dubbed the "creepy birds" that make a really weird, creepy noise at dusk. Shelley and I worked up the energy and guts to crawl out of the tent into the dusk sky to catch a glimpse of them. Sarah stayed in the warmth and safety of her sleeping bag. We could hear them screaming and flying overhead but could not see them - even creepier!!! Bats??
  • The park won't let you leave trash at the park buildings on the park perimeter (yet there are at the refugios within the park?)
  • Shelley's sleeping pad flew away at the alluvial fan beach of a glacial lake... she chased it for about half a mile over the beach and through a shallow stream to retrieve it where it finally got caught on the opposite bank of the stream (this was a lowlight for Shelley but a highlight for Sarah and me watching her run after it)
  • Realizing we are not packing enough calories - we revisited NOLS Cookery on my kindle and it confirmed the fact that it takes a few days for a backpacker's appetite to kick in. I'm pretty sure we would have starved without the convenience stores at the refugios in the park.
  • Sarah getting reprimanded by our waitress for filling up her titanium cup with water in the bathroom (trying to save a bottle since they don't serve tap water) - we really have become dirty hippies
  • We didn't realize we'd be learning so much about the history of computers... internet and technology is getting worse as we move north. Hopefully we can continue to share lots of pictures.
Pictures can't say everything but here's a shot:

The bay near Puerto Natales, Chile.

We loved the scenery of this leg from the first day. The grasses were bright green, mountains blue and snowcapped, clouds were dramatic, waters were glistening in the wind...

Purifying water from a pleasant dock we came across.

Getting closer to Torres del Paine National Park!

Woo-hoo! Better view of the park we're about to see! PS: We are really into jumping now since we've received support from

Yes folks, that's an iceberg from the glacier at the other end of this very long lake (refer to later pic of glacier). We couldn't resist taking off our clothes for a weather-appropriate photo shoot.

New friend.
Hawaii maybe?? Minus the jagged peaks...
This photo was taken from our campsite. It does nothing to show the magnitude of this amazing glacier.
Home sweet home.
Hmmm there's something wrong with this picture. Oh just kidding... I was confused because there's NO WIND!
Perfect day.
We woke up at 4am to facilitate watching the sunrise over Torres del Paine (the towers of Paine - the feature attraction of the park). No luck - it was socked in, windy, snowing... we only caught cloudy glimpses of the towers until, of course, we descended back down to camp and it cleared up.


  1. All of it looks so amazing! The glacier and the 'berg are outta sight!

  2. Hey Trinity! I'm glad you thought Torres del Paine was beautiful! Seeing your pics makes me want to go back. I'm psyched to see you are all having such a great time and making good progress, but will be missing you at Chicks this year ;)

  3. Hi there -- I just found your blog through another blogger. Your expedition sounds amazing and courageous. I'm looking forward to following your journey. Good luck! I love the iceberg pics -- totally amazing landscape!

  4. Oh my. I am going to quickly run out of ways to say how spectacular!! Can't stop looking at these great photos. 'Til next time ... love, Marg

  5. Your pictures are amazing! Looks like such a beautiful place. Can't wait to see more!

  6. I can't believe you saw horses and didn't tell me!!! WHAT is this!? Nah but those pictures are gorgeous. those pictures, I am sure, do not do it ANY justice. Hopefully I will be seeing you all very soon : ) keep up the good work! And congrats on become dirty hippies. It reminds me of my NOLS course when we did a town visit during our third week or end of our first week sea kayaking and we went to this cafe looking like we had died and come back to life... it was on a sunday as well so everybody looked nice... all of us ate other peoople left overs.. you learn how much people waste!! SAfe travels!! and Trin, did you pee your pants when shelley was running after her pad?

  7. Hi women of the world....enjoying both the photos and the stories...have fun and be aunt mary

  8. The pictures are amazing! The stripping photos are nicely done and classy! hahaha

  9. Wonderful descriptive writing, girls. I went to high school in Glendale with your pop, Herb in the fifties and have been in touch recently after our 50th reunion some 4 years ago. My name is Tom Funk and I spent 4 years in Chile from 1981 to 1985. We lived in a lake community called, Villarrica. This was the name of the town, lake and volcano. It is located southeast of Temuco and we still have many friends there if you need connections. We sold our two-story house there to a Swiss couple who rent out rooms there now to cyclists and travelers like you. 969 Francisco Bilbao is the address, and right across the street are our dear friends, the Hidalgo family - Hector & Nena. We went to Chile to help with all the new Baha'i Mapuche Indians who had embraced this new Faith (since 1844) that fulfilled all their old prophecies from millennia. There are now Baha'is in practically all parts of the planet, but Chile has one of the most aspiring communities with a very promising future for the whole country. We now live in Rancho Mirage, CA near Palm Springs. I envy your every move as I follow you closely thru your wondrous communique. Thank you for the memories. ~ Tom

    1. Tom- We just passed through that region but unfortunately didn't spend any time in Villarrica. Thank you for the info though! I kept it on my radar the whole time. We did spend a few days in nearby Pucon which was surreal- under a volcanic peak, black beaches on its giant lake, hot springs in the jungle among waterfalls... unbelievable! Thanks for following our blog. Cheers from Mendoza!