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Torres Del Paine - camp Torres, day 7 & 8

Written on: Saturday January 16th, 2010

A journal entry from: South America

December 15th - 17th

Ronan and Barrie set off early while we had a bit of a lie in. We knew it wasn´t too far and we felt really tired by now. The walk wasn´t too arduos but we actually went the wrong way...... it was the signs fault. The scenic route took us up a steep hill, through some mosquito infested fields and woods before we eventually got back onto the track. We met a couple who told us it was about 2 hours further to the end but we had hoped it was only 1!

It had taken us longer than expected and we were very tired. We heard some whistling coming from the woods and Barrie appeared strolling along the track. We were surprised to see him since we thought he would be at the camp. He had already been there and was on his way back looking for us. He said that Ronan had gone on ahead to find us and we realised that we must have missed him when we took our detour. 

Barrie noticed that Yasmin was looking especially tired and carried her rucksack. She was glad of the help from the 75 year old mountaineer....... We walked a little way and came to the top of a ridge where we had a view of the area below. We could see the site where we would be camping. Barrie pointed out a hotel which he described as a luxury hotel with lovely scenic views and a roaring log fire. Then he fished something out of his pocket and said "and here´s the key to your room". Yasmin nearly passed out with ecstacy/relief!

As Barrie was well known by the people in the area and the hotel we all got two nights there for free! This was courtesy of the very nice hotel manager Rodrigo. Barrie had known about this before but had kept it as a surprise, for which we were very happy of course.

With our spirits high we made it to the hotel quickly. It was great, with nice rooms and hot showers and baths! After we had cleaned up we sat in the nice lounge and enjoyed a beer and the scenery while waiting for Ronan to return. Eventually we saw a figure walking very slowly down the road towards the hotel. Andy went out to meet him and carried his rucksack the last few hundred metres. He was of course absolutely knackered after walking about 30km in total, and downed a beer in record time. After he had arrived the first time he had set off back to meet us with some chocolate to help us along. However as he missed us he went all the way back to the beginning of the days walk, met the couple we spoke to and then had to walk all the way back again..... As we were very grateful and felt sorry for him the dinner was on us that night (although he had eaten the chocolate he had bought for us).

The next day Barrie, Ronan and Andy set off up the valley to go and have a look at the Torres Del Paine from a viewpoint about 4 hours hike each way from the hotel. Yasmin decided to rest her blisters and opted for the sauna and massage instead. The walk to the viewpoint was very nice, if a bit cloudy that day. We did have a good view of the Torres when we got there however the tops of the peaks were obscured by clouds. One of the guides at the top had heard of Barrie and was very pleased to meet him and on the way down a group of German climbers interviewed him for German tv. We felt very proud to be there with him.

After another nice dinner back at the hotel we sat around the log fire in the lounge and had a few drinks. It was a great way to finish a brilliant Paine trip!