Today is our first W Trek hiking day and it is the hardest because of the distance and elevation changes.
Breakfast started at 6:15 AM. We met several people who just finished their W trek at breakfast. One girl told us: "you will be cold and wet, but you will be happy." I was already overpacked at the time, after hearing this I brought even more stuff with me which I regretted later, because we happened to have almost perfect weather for the next 5 days, so all the extra clothes were not needed and I had to carry them on my back for 5 days!
We got picked up by Jose at 7 AM. He is a freelance guide, working for ChileTour Patagonia when he is needed. It took about 2 hours to get to the park, and 4.5 hours hiking to Base Torres where we had lunch. Stayed up there for about an hour, then walked back to Torre Central to check into our first refugio.
1. Saw herds of guanaco (related to the llama) on the way to the park.
2. Torres del Paine National Park. Make sure you ask for a map when you buy tickets here.
3. Started hiking.
5. The trail is shared by people and horses (to haul supply and trash for Refugio Chileno).
7. More horses departing Refugio Chileno.
8. More horses departing Refugio Chileno.
9. Getting close to Base Torres.
10. Almost there.
11. Base Torres.
12. Base Torres.
13. Heading back.
14. Lake Nordenskjold. We'll be hiking along that lake tomorrow.
We checked in Torre Central Refugio around 6 PM. This is my least favorite of the four refugios we have stayed. The room was so small, there was hardly any room for 2 people to stand up at the same time. And there was no outlets in the room at all. EVERYONE in the refugio had to fight for the 2 outlets in the lobby for charging. And the dining room is in another building, about 100 yards away. After a long day of hiking, that 100 yards felt like half a mile :)
(To be continued)