Another glorious sunny day in Pantagonia and the start of the kayak expedition

Torres Del Paine Travel Blog

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Woke up to another bright sunny day in pantagonia. You'd think from all the sunshine we were getting that it was florida or something. Guess we brought the sun  with us to pantagonia.

Anyways packed up our gear and headed to the administration building to meet our guides for our great pantagonian kayak expedition.

There was German our action man pantagonia ( more about that later) and his assistant guide Amelie and Cathy. They greeted us with huge warm smiles and that helped dissipate some of our misgivings considering all that happened before on the  trek. It turns out that Cathy was the driver who would drive the car back to civilisation leaving us 4 to our own devices out in the pantagonian wilderness.

The plan was to kayak down the Rio Serrano which is at the southern border of the torres del paine national park then go upriver to the Lago Geike, to see the glacier and kayak among icebergs.

all kitted out in dry suits
It's supposed to be a pretty hard kayak with strong currents and lots of portages and dragging and swimming with our kayaks to get there.

We got to our launch point and got suited up in dry suits( they are relatively dry apart from the sweat you accumulate in them) and repacked our gear into dry bags to be stored in our kayaks. After some safety instructions we jumped in our kayaks pulled over the spray covers and were off down the river.

Unfortunately, the moment I jumped into the kayak my back went into spasm. It was really acute, kinda like sciatica. My old back problem was back again. Even after stretching and readjusting the seat it wasn't much better. I could barely sit in the kayak let alone put in much strength into the paddling.

We floated down the river and did a portage across a small waterfall and got to our lunch spot. There German felt that with my back there was no way we could get up the rio geike. ( in retrospect he might have been mistaken as my back would improve whenever I got out of the kayak to portage or drag it etc). So the plan was to get down the rio serrano and camp and see how my back was the next day.

German found a spot along the banks covered in ferns and declared that we'd camp there. Shawn and I gave each other wierd looks as it didn't seem like an ideal camp spot but considering he was the expert we went with the plan. Incredibly it was a really comfortable place to sleep almost like sleeping on an orthopaedic bed at home.

Before we knew it he'd set up a huge tarp over the designated campsite and got his stoves going. We were really pleased with dinner. Breaded veal cutlets panfried with mash of potatos and carrots for mains, a soup for entree and some canned fruits for desert. It might not seem like much but when you've been camping and eating dehydrated food for the last few days this was like heaven.

And so we went to sleep not knowing what the next 3 days would hold for our kayaking expedition.

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our guides
our guides
all kitted out in dry suits
all kitted out in dry suits
bread of the natives ( fungi)
bread of the natives ( fungi)
veal for dinner!
veal for dinner!
Torres Del Paine
photo by: Vlindeke