From Santiago to Patagonia

Las Torres del Paine

Las Torres del Paine

We’ve arrived at long last in Santiago, Chile, via our flight from San Francisco. We spent this first evening in a cute little hotel downtown, crashing for just a few hours before getting up and at it. We were really impressed with the transportation system here, the trains and buses run regularly and function all over the city.

We checked out a vegetarian restaurant called El Huerto (located in Providencia), literally meaning vegetables from what we could surmise. It was in one of the more upscale areas of this diverse city. The food was great. We also noticed on this first night that the days here are really long. They have between 16 to 18 hours of daylight, which is awesome. I’ve never walked out in a park at 9 pm before while it’s still light out. A neat concept for sure.

Day 2 started out later than we had planned, which would end up being a theme for our trip. Not surprising I guess with that dreaded jetlag and all, but still, you’re supposed to be living it up and vacation and ignoring trivial things like sleep, so we were a little disappointed in ourselves. Today we had a trip to Pablo Neruda’s house planned. It’s pretty much stressed in all the guidebooks that you must go visit his houses when in Chile, so who are we to argue?

Iceberg in Grey Lake

Iceberg in Grey Lake

It’s obvious his love for ships and sea was no exaggeration, as his house was modelled in the shape of a ship! An interesting and quirky place to be sure, well worth the visit as advertised. Next up was a museum stop at the Museum of Pre Columbian Art. We had planned to hit multiple museums this day, but as we were running behind in our schedule this wasn’t possible.

Now on day 3 the main part of our journey began, a trip into Patagonia. Rather than take an agonizingly long bus ride, we splurged for the air trip, which even then took 4 hours, which really gives you a sense of how much ground north to south Chile covers.

The next two days saw us getting ready for our massive hiking expedition into the Torres del Paine National Park. We brought a great deal of supplies for the trip with us, but there are some things you just can’t bring, and others which you forget to pack, so we had some work cut out for us yet to be fully prepared.

The only real issue was in finding fuel for our stove (yea, we weren’t totally going to rough it). We ran around to every supply store we could with no luck. Finally, after preparing to delay our trip until we could get some, we happened to get lucky and find some at a pharmacy. Our trek into the wilds was back on course!

Windy Patagonia

Windy Patagonia

Day 6 sees us take our first steps into Torres del Paine. The early hike was great, windy but clear, and the surroundings are great. We made the first camp, Camp Seron earlier than expected and took the opportunity to grab a little cat nap in the sun. The campsites here are very social, encouraging people to share their stories and maybe even join up for parts of their treks. The U.S is very different, with campsites being spread out and people tending to stay by themselves for the most part, save for certain times.

I can tell this journey is going to be filled with incredible views and great experiences. I can’t wait to experience it all and relate the rest of the journey.