TDP Day 1: Paine Grande and Mirador (6km)

Torres Del Paine Travel Blog

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Hiking down the trail (away from Torres Del Paine) toward the first Mirador.

I woke up at 6:00am this morning to do final packing for my 6 day backpacking trip through the Torres del Paine national park.

I ate a quick breakfast at Erratic Rock Hostel, and hopped on the 7:30am bus with several other trekkers.  We arrived at the park around 11:00am, and boarded a catamaran the would take us to the recommended starting point for the ¨W¨hike (the W is the name of the most frequently used, and best, path through the park to see the major sites - on the map, the trail takes the shape of a W, up and down the valleys in the park).

So the catamaran dropped us off at the Refugio Paine Grande.  From here, most of the people immediately headed up the valley to Glacier Grey.  But me, I wanted to go slowly through the park and enjoy my time - so I planned to just stay at Paine Grande for the night.

Taking a break in the cool blue waters of Lago Pehoe.
  Since it was only noon upon arrival, though, I checked in, dropped my stuff off in my bunk room, and then actually headed out south AWAY from the park.  I heard that doing this, and then turning around and hiking back into the park, gives you some great views of the massive rock formations and high peaks.  Wow, very true. 

Colors were amazing -- the water in the lake was an incredible blue, the flowers on the shrubs were an incredible red.  See photos!

Already, though, my shoes are killing my feet.  Not good.  The heel of the shoe is for some reason digging into the back of my heel, causing a bruising type sensation.  At least it is not a blister.  However, this will trouble me throughout the hike.  Rule #1 of hiking -- get good shoes.  I thought I had that covered, but I guess not.  Uh oh.

After my hike, I showered, ate a sandwich, and lounged in the pub upstairs which had an open air view of the peaks, and some good music.

I was joined a bit later by Jann, an Australian who is one of my bunkmates.  We had a couple of pisco sours in the pub upstairs, and then headed downstairs for a cafeteria style dinner.  (The pub has some amazing views - check out the pics)

I was tired so hit the sack early.

 

 

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Hiking down the trail (away from T…
Hiking down the trail (away from …
Taking a break in the cool blue wa…
Taking a break in the cool blue w…
Enjoying the view looking back tow…
Enjoying the view looking back to…
Red flower, blue water.
Red flower, blue water.
Red flower, blue water, blue sky, …
Red flower, blue water, blue sky,…
Blue water, white dock.
Blue water, white dock.
The view from the pub where I had …
The view from the pub where I had…
Torres Del Paine
photo by: Vlindeke