It’s a bit ludicrous to call this a trekking day, since we didn’t actually do any trekking. Nevertheless today was our arrival at the Torres del Paine National Park.
We started the day in Puerto Natales with last minute errands and packing. Mid-day we had our “last” cooked meal for a few days at a good little local hole in the wall, and then we were off. The bus took us down a mostly gravel road for the better part of three hours. Luckily, the clouds and drizzle of the morning were quickly fading away.
We got glimpses of the Torres (towers) from nearly the beginning of the ride and the whole way there. As we neared the park entrance, dozens of llamas lined the road in the mostly green hills around us. We passed the sea-green colored Laguna Amarga and then it was time to pay. From the entrance a short shuttle bus took us to the lodge.
The refugio (lodge) is quite basic and they really push their ridiculously priced “restaurant” meals, so they don’t make it too easy to make your own food. Daylight hours were still numerous as we headed over to the full-service hotel down the road for a short geological presentation of how the park landscape was formed (by glaciers). We particularly enjoyed the little museum there with explanations of the local biosphere, animals and especially history and mythology of the now-extinct local peoples- the Patogones. We strolled a bit in the vicinity of the lodge and came in to get well rested for our real trekking the following day.