Our last trekking day was a race against the time. We had to leave Paine Grande, make it to Glacier Grey and back before the catamaran left us behind and we would be stuck in the park for an extra night. So with the clock as our enemy we significantly picked up the walking pace. Luckily the hilly trek was not as strenuous as some of the other days. As we passed by Laguna de los Patos, a hanging laguna over the much larger Lago Grey, we headed into a forest and then back out again into the very very windy hillside. When we emerged from behind the mountains, the immense and impressive Glacier Grey revealed itself. It filled in the whole of the mountain side on three sides and definitely upped our motivation to keep the pace up. From there it was more hills- up and down and up and down along Lago Grey, into and out of little forests. The quick pace had us arriving at the glacier right on time, but unfortunately it was quite far away from us (apparently it has receded a lot in the last few years) that it was quite a disappointment. From up close we could only see the front edge and none of the immensity of the height and depth that we had seen earlier. It was time for a quick lunch break and then, exhausted, we started the way back. The way back was difficult times with the physical toll of the last few days of trekking making the journey a challenge. Our motivation was time- so with the help of a couple walking sticks we made it with a bit of time to spare back to Paine Grande. D had an orange from the local shop- the first fruit we have had in days. After consuming oatmeal, backpacking food and energy bars for the last few days, it was delicious. The catamaran ride along Lago Pehoe was a little money extortion, compensated only by the free hot drinks on board, and the bus ride to Puerto Natales was not short but mostly forgettable. It was a wonderful feeling getting back to town sore but accomplished, for real food at Masay restaurant, a hot shower and a comfy (non-shared dorm-shared bath) bed, where we could close the shades and make it artificially dark (the sunset at 22:30, sunrise at 05:30, never actually dark, was starting to get old).
on the way, Glacier Grey in the distance
back of Los Cuernos, view from catamaran on Lago Pehoe