This post describes day 5 of our 5-day trekking adventure in Las Torres National Park. To get to the main article describing the entire trip, take a look here.
Day 5 of our adventure
Aaaah… here it is: the summum of the trip. Following the advice of some fellow travelers we made it an early trip to Las Torres base, in order to see the sun coming up and enlightening the mountain tops slowly in all its glory. We were prepared for the worst, as everyone had been warning us of the strenuous way up. If you do that, you can only be better off…
Here’s the details of the “morning hike” to Las Torres base:
· Distance: 4,4km (one-way, so 8,8 in total)
· Time spent: 1h35up and 1h30 down
· Total elevation gain: 300m
The early start certainly was worth it. We actually were early, as the sun would only rise upon the mountains at about 7.20am. The wait was long and cold… You’re preparing so much for the actually ascent that you totally forget about how it would feel once you’re there. We’re talking early morning, in the mountains, in Patagonia… that’s never nice and warm. We saw others actually having their sleeping bags with them to stay warm until the magic happened. We didn’t even bring our gloves… No worries though, we did bring all of our cameras, so were setting all of these up to get a perfect angle. Unfortunately there are these people that have to spoil it for the others and absolutely need to sit on the first big rock overlooking the spectacle, so that they appear in almost each and every photo that the others take… People…
It’s really a unique sight, without any exaggeration. We were so lucky: only a few little clouds passing by, which even made the scene prettier. As always you need to be lucky, though. The morning before it apparently was really cloudy, so wouldn’t have the same result.
Getting back from Las Torres base to Chileno takes unexpectedly long, as the last part (behind the Las Torres ranger station) is pretty technical and therefore not per se easier than going up. We took it a lot slower as well, satisfied from our pleasing morning spectacle.
The last part from Chileno to Las Torres hotel is the opposite as the day before, of course. As it was the last part and a lot of people were making their way up, it didn’t always go that fluently:
· Distance: 4,6km
· Time spent: 1h10
· Total descent: 400m (but some steep uphills at the start!)
Man, were we happy when we made it. As it was only around 11am when we got to the hotel (and we only had the bus back to Puerto Natales at 7pm), we asked the reception of the hotel about whether they knew if we could take an earlier bus. The very friendly receptionist made a call and then referred us to the Welcome Centre, which is a 10min (high-pace) walk from the hotel. There we were able to reschedule to the bus drive of 1.30pm. That bus starts from Laguna Amarga (where you get the tickets the first day). There’s a shuttle bus taking you from the Welcome Center to Laguna Amarga, which only costs 3.000 CLP per person.
Another unexpected surprise that day? Us running into some actual wildlife! Guanacos were welcoming us back, when we arrived at Laguna Amarga bus stop. Finally!
Other Countries we visited
Have a look at the other countries we ‘achievied’ to visit, and other Achievies…