Loading Map...

Torres Del Paine - Lago Pehoe, day 1

Written on: Monday January 11th, 2010

A journal entry from: South America

December 9th - 10th

Gaston gave us a lift to the bus station in Punta Arenas where we boarded the bus headed for the Paine. We had to change buses in Puerto Natales where we had our lunch that Libbet had prepared for us. Six hours later we arrived at Lago Pehoé where we caught the ferry across the lake. The ferry trip took about 30 minutes and we had great views of the mountains.

Torres Del Paine national park is often considered as the finest national park in South America, and as one of the best treks in the world. The granite pillars of the Torres Del Paine (Towers of Paine) rise up more than 2000 meters above the Patagonian steppe, dominating the park. Barrie had been to the Paine several times before - the last time was about 6 years ago when he did the same trek with Jen and Aldus. He was also here in 1962 when he led the British climbing team that made the first summit of the Central Tower of the Paine and named several of the mountains here. 

When we arrived at the refugio (campsite with a basic lodge) Barrie went to check out the lodge but it was full and also quite expensive. We were surprised at the number of tents in the campsite and were worried that it would be busy along the whole trek. Barrie assured us that it would not be! Most people would be doing the "W" trek whereas we would do the circuit but in reverse. Almost everyobody who does the circuit would be going the other way from us as it is considered easier. Barrie claims that the way we were going is the right way to do it....  

We set up camp and decided to go to the restaurant for dinner and save our camp food for the hike. The restaurant was busy but the dinner was nice, washed down with some cheap wine that we had bought in the shop. After dinner we decided to check out the bar upstairs..... We thought it looked a bit out of place in the wild mountains and would probably have fitted in better in Santiago. Quite different to when Barrie was here the first time. However, we didn´t say no to a couple of drinks before going to sleep in our tents, with an early start the next day.