So, Patagonia! What can I tell you? Everything you’ve heard about it is absolutely true: it is stunning, you’ll do loads of awesome trekking, you’ll taste delicious food and wine, and you’ll meet incredible people on every corner. There are, however, some special things you’ll only be able to discover when you get here. In this post I will try to share with you all the discoveries I made, as well as some memories that I will definitely cherish for the rest of my life (bear with me, I promise I’m not exaggerating!).
We started our trekking trip doing the famous W circuit in Torres del Paine National Park, in the Chilean Patagonia. Nothing less than the stunning Mirador base Torres was our first challenge, and I had made up my mind from the start that no matter how hard it was going to be -and it was for me the most challenging trek of the whole W circuit, I was making it to the top.
Why such determination, Yvette? Glad you asked! Because I had made a plan to propose to JP at the top. And lucky for me, he got very excited with the idea and said YESS!! I repeat: he.said.YES!! At this point, all the pain from sore muscles and blisters in my feet magically disappeared, and everything that looked beautiful on the way up was now looking gorgeous on our way down: the blueness of the river, the intense green of the trees, the smiley people, the cool suspension bridges, the sound of the wind blowing through the trees that sometimes mixed with the sound of the water going downstream… a dream!
Stuck inside a cloud, little by little we completed our 5 days of trekking as we had planned. We stayed at four amazing Refugios: Central, Cuernos, Paine Grande and Grey. They were all incredibly well organised, clean and full of like minded people enjoying the trekking experience. To me it felt a lot like being back at summer camp, with the added bonus of being able to buy beer - I absolutely loved it!
With the adrenaline and the excitement of completing this incredible challenge together still running through our systems, we were ready to hit the road to get to El Calafate, in the Argentinean Patagonia. We started our adventure with a visit to Perito Moreno Glacier. Unbelievable! Seeing this massive, millennial block of ice sitting majestically in front of us was definitely a humbling experience. I tried to see if we could find Scrat looking for its acorn, but no luck!
Right after this, we headed up to El Chaltén, Argentina’s official Trekking Capital, for four more days of daily trekking. Hey, I did tell you to get on your trekking shoes, didn’t I? :)
This time round we were able to do one day treks, which meant we came back to sleep at our hostel everyday, and most importantly: we only had to carry our lunch and water bottles on our way up the mountain. We were Ferraris! OMG we were so fast this time. I definitely recommend doing Torres del Paine first when planning your trip to Patagonia as this will give you the perfect training for the next treks to come -JP may not agree with me on this one as his knees were giving him a bit of a hard time after the W circuit.
I have absolutely loved every minute of this non-stop trekking adventure. It has reminded me how much I miss trekking regularly. To give you an idea, I used to go trekking to Sabas Nieves in Caracas almost every day! I’m definitely going to incorporate more trekking into my life, and I know JP is already keen for the same (if not, I’m not sure I can find any surprises as enjoyable as this one to give him at the top of every mountain to keep him excited! Haha).