Second Part of Patagonia and end of our 'W-Trek'.
Its the start of day 3 on the trail and after our Pisco Sour and Wine we planned a wee lie in. That wee lie in had us not leaving camp until 11! But as we had a shower the night before (after an American guy had a hissy fit because I was infront of him) and our mats we were feeling relatively fresh.
The walk was planned to be uneventful as we simply needed to make the 4.5hrs to the next camp.
Like most journeys of our now tho, I should have learned by now.
Along the trail I was stopping for one of my many, many, many 6-photo 'panoramics' - Kim's camera cannot fit in the scale of these landscapes so I have to rotate round taking lots of pics - I'm gonna have to invent a new day in the week when I get back to stitch them all together, or Ros, you will be getting a new project. But while taking in the veiw over the lake, we happen upon a couple lying down, taking in the sun on a huge rockface.
When the girl pops her head up I take a second look to confirm my first thoughts. Then - 'Jaysus! Fancy meeting you two hear!'
We bumbped into Vicky and Adam, the Irish couple we met on the most recent of bad bus journeys, who were doing the same trek but in opposite directions. We took an impromptu break where I played nurse (and finally got to use my first aid kit!) to fix Adam's cut finger, and took too much Skittles. We had a good larf for about 45mins, and tho it was outside our (read MY) schedule I have now since relaxed my anality and just going with it a bit more. So it was fun. We left, but not before saying how much we all needed a 'proper night out'. Wednesday. 7.30. Outside the casino in El Calafate. The stage was set.
But on we needed to go, so me and Kim made tracks. The trail was easy enough, part of it was even across field so it was like Ireland or Scotland. But it started going up. Vicky and Adam told us to go on to the campsite near the Torres, a further 1.5hrs up. It was tough, but visually massively rewarding, to get to the first campsite where we had lunch, by now at about 4.30! I chilled some coke in the river to help with taste, and moral as the exersion was now proving draining.
We were glad we were moving on though, as that campsite was not the greatest, and the next one was free!
We eventually got to our next base, set up camp (efficiently and effectively as always), beside our new friends Andy and Zoe and decided to try do the last hour up to see the Torres. Fortunately, the trail was too tough. After being on the road for 7hrs and having to clamber over boulders, loose rock and sand at a very vertical incline, along with the fact it was getting dark and Kim doesn't like going down this type of terrain, we stopped.
I say fortunately because Kim said if she seen it then, she would not go up in the morning. And we were glad we got up at 5.30 the next day. (At this point I just want to put in I made a superb Tuna Pasta the night before!)
The climb seemed much easier in the morning, making it up in about 40mins. There, we found a good viewpoint of the massive Torres and the lake below on a big rock where we (I) cooked breakfast.
Then, it started. We heard from several people the proper redness you see in the postcards is very very rare, and sometimes photo-shopped in. Our wee camera didn't need photoshop. No guys, the cover image for this blog is not one of the library pics from the blogsite, this one's ours! We have been immensely lucky with the weather so-far and are becoming convinced we have a few people pulling strings for us upstairs.
The rock was normal, cold, in the morning light. But as the sun rose to a clear dark blue sky between the valley directly across the horizon, the early morning red rays bounced off the Torres, lighting them up in flame red.
Kim was mesmaraized by the sunrise alone. But adding to it was that just beside the Torres the moon was still out and slowly sinking. It was honestly like being on another planet. Many, many, many more panoramics taken! (I'm now sweating because the PC is not picking up our iPod to let me upload the pics!)
After most of the 70-or-so hardy folk who made the early start left, I went down to get more pics of the Torres that had now returned to normal in the daylight and wash my face in the lake. Kim stayed up on the rock and listened to Snow Patrol!!! Which was then our soundtrack to our descent.
Making our way down the hill we could relax and take in the veiw, knowing we had completed the famous W-Trek, been massively lucky with the grand finale, and that it was all downhill now! We did feel sorry for some folk who were there for the day or staying in the hotel and doing a day hike. Some looked under-prepared. Lots looked over-dressed. Many looked like they would not make it!
After getting kicked off our bus because it was too full we hijacked another, yes Briege, we should just walk everywhere instead! We ended up on Andy and Zoe's bus, where we plotted our victory meal later that night - the best pizza we've had in South America followed by the most amazing brownie and ice-cream. We then arranged to bring them along to our night out on Wed. Things are coming together nicely...