Puerto Arenas > Puerto Natales > Torres Del Paine
I arrive at Puerto Natales Hostel Last Hope around 10pm just when Diego was about to close up…Got a key to a room with 4 shared bunks in great shape and nice bathrooms/showers. Diego just opened his business in September and is full every night, until he finishes the expansion on the 2nd floor. Seems like a great business to be in during their summer's high tourism season (not sure about the winter?). Our hostel had a mix of Germans, Japanese, Chileans and a couple Scottish all within the ages of 20-35’ish. The first night I met some folks that had just finished the trail and were headed north to El Calafate (seems like a popular combination to do with Torres Del Paine).
Puerto Natales, the gate to Patagonia. Half locals, half backpackers coming and going. Every street has a hostel, outdoor store center, souvenir shop. Great vibe in this town.
The night before heading into the park, I grabbed dinner with Paola from the hostel. She is Chilean, but lived in Michigan the last 15 years. She is waiting to get accepted into Doctorate program in the US and is passing the time here being a trek guide in the park. It reminds me of some of the summer/winter jobs in Lake Tahoe. Got some good advice for the trek and then much needed some rest for the 7am bus departure into the park.
Arrived at Torres Del Paine and the Camp Torres around 11am. Began hiking up to Camp Chileano about 2000m uphill.
Felt like freedom. Finally not on a bus schedule. Waiting for someone. Someone waiting for me to sidetrack and take a photo. Someone to expect something and me to help them get through their missed expectations. Just me. Me and the trail. Well, not just the trail. Hundreds of other hikers from around the world.
W Trek is about 50miles, with lots of elevation up/down
I mentioned Diego in the hostel. I am making his website for his new company. Preview here. Paola, who has exciting things ahead. Mattias, Dutch. The others I would meet once I landed in the park and beyond.
I met some great people along the trail as you would expect in a place 1,000miles from Antarctica. First there was New Zealand Steve. Then Thomas from Holland. 24 student just finished teaching English in Cordoba, Argentina. Thomas had never camped by himself. Very cool guy. Curious gentleman, but also very wise about the world and what was to come about his walk about this planet. He had a positive outlook about everything and really was excited to learn about everything. We planned our treks and hiked for 2 nights 3 days. It was good to have a consistent conversation that you know was going to be a lasting friendship. One that was mutually beneficial. We both learned about each other's cultures and what was ahead. Offered 3rd party advice to our each next steps based on our own non-biased opinions.
Thomas, Holland, 24
Last Meal: "Pancakes w/ Syrup. If no Syrup...then lots of sugar brown..white I don't care. If there is syrup then sugar and butter too."
Bengts & Joni, Holland
I'll get into their story later. They made most of my trip....a trip.
Emma & Lolita - French travelers we shared a day with
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Torres Del Paine to Coyhaique
Puerto Natales again. (2) Middle Aged Czechs looking to reboot after 2 weeks of hiking/climbing before the trip back across the world. We arrived late (again) and lucked out on a hostel nearby the main square after a beer and a meal.
27 hour bus ride to Coyhaique to volunteer at Workaway.com @ Coyhaique, Patagonia - Tourism/Agriculture/Activity Startup
"sustainable development tourism startup that's dedicated to bringing adventure tourists to Coyhaique and providing local children with leadership, teamwork, sports and outdoor activities. We're partnered with a beautiful fishing lodge, where our headquarters are located."