After arriving in the dark to our hotel in the Torres Del Paines (pronounced Pine-ay), I didn’t know what to expect when I opened the windows this morning. Yet another beautiful sunny, warm and non-windy day awaited me! How lucky can I be?
We started our tour with the lovely local guide Carinna and the first lookout was spectacular! The Towers of Paines (towers of blue, and the namesake for the park) are a stark contrast to the dry lands surrounding it. My photo in the morning was a bit cloudy, but the view on the way back in the afternoon was clear and majestic. Heck, this entire place is majestic!
The rock formations here are truly unique in all the world… it began when plates shifted with sedimentary rock, andthen warm magma pushed the granite up (thought there was no eruption), and the every top is a mix of the sedimetnary and magma = metamorphic rock (a darker colour). The distinctive sharp shape was made from glaciers carving their way through the area – creating the Paine Mastiff.
There is also a lot of wildlife to see here… Oh look… Guanacos! These are like Llamas, only wild and more aggressive/stronger. Apparently they can use there necks to whack things/prey/people. I also learned that because they are indigenous, Guanacos do not harm the land with their hooves (but sheep do, brought in by settlers in the 1800s).
One of the sad sights today were areas devastated by forest fires, all caused by careless tourists in recent years. The wind can blow so fast here, fires can spread in an instant.
Our next stop was a really lovely waterfall of glacier water between the Pehoe Lake and Paine River. Carinna told us the last time she had a tour here, the winds were gusting to over 100 km/hr so it was too dangerous to get out of the van. Oh look… a rainbow just for us!
And yet another amazing photo stop!
On the way back to the van, I heard two men talking about cycling and I thought about how much David would love it here! I was thinking of him as we made our last stop at Grey Glacier.
The blue icebergs that greet you after a long walk on a dry beach (that used to be lake/ice) are a stunning blue. The lake is 300 meters deep, and you see only 10 per cent of the iceberg (the rest is underwater). The icebergs here are so blue because they are so compact.
Behind the icebergs in the distance is the south Patagonia ice field (the third largest ice field in the world behind Antarctica and Greenland).
It was here that I left my mark for my Sweetie. David, you are with me in spirit, always!