Monday, December 19, 2016

Patagonia - Road Trip - Part V - (More) Torres del Paine National Park

We saw so many amazing things on our long day in Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. Lousy weather had closed the trail to the Towers so on our drive around we got to do several short hikes. Our experience that day made me glad that we had not relied on other transportation or tour buses to get us to the park. We were free to go where we wanted and it was a day I'll never forget.

The glacial lakes are stunning, a color I don't think I've seen since New Zealand.

The weather was cold and windy, as well as unpredictable. But the clouds made for dramatic effect; every view seemed unforgettably stunning.

We wrapped up our short hike and went back to the car. Hitting the road again, there seemed to be one last good place for a hike that would include a great view of a lake. On the far side was a glacier. My husband recalled the ranger telling us we might see the glacier in good weather... 
it looked far away on the map though...

From the parking lot, we traversed a little bridge to get to the trail. The weather was declining but what did it matter? We weren't sure if we'd ever make it back to this spectacular place.

On the other side of the bridge, we made our way through brush and trees. I could see a sort of beach off in the distance, and there was the surface of the lake, covered in little icebergs.

There was a group of people making there way from a ferry stop that was about 1.5 kilometers away.

Then we were alone in this incredible place.

The weather made for some interesting lighting effects.
The bergs truly were a cerulean blue.

Some of them were about the size of a big bus..

They broke into bits as they got close to shore.

Far away in the distance is the glacier that calved these chunks.

A better view of Grey Glacier, below.

It began to snow again, while the sun was coming out. Patagonia!!

Watching the clouds blow up the side of the mountains, above and below, was mesmerizing.

We took a lot of pictures here... but it was getting late, and time to move on.

We'd made the most of this fabulous day. We set off back to town, and while we'd have some driving to do in darkness, we were able to exit the park near our last hike without having to make a long and challenging ride back through in darkness.

There were a few last viewpoints to take in on the drive back.

We had another good dinner at our Puerto Natales pizza spot, Mesita Grande. The next morning it was time to head back to Punta Arenas.

On the way, we got a few snaps of the roadside memorial structures I've mentioned in previous posts.. and I'm unfortunately still unable to say exactly what's happening here.

I loved the road signs in Patagonia, and in Chile the signage was pretty good. We didn't ever get lost. And who wouldn't love the title at the top - Ruta del Fin del Mundo - Route of the End of the World.

Hamming it up in the car, we were both in pretty good moods. We were on our way back after such a nice trip, that met all my expectations, and without any problems. Gratitude.

Have I mentioned that there are apparently flamingos in Patagonia?! I was shocked.

And if you look closely, above, you'll see rhea, a flightless bird like an ostrich..
Below, it's more obvious.. I don't think it likes to be photographed.

We continued through the town of Punta Arenas.. 

Some places the road gets pretty close to the sea.. made me wonder what will happen down here as things start to heat up in the Antarctic neighborhood.

No time to think for long, there's a road block.

The road down here isn't finished, but we were going to el fin.

And here it was. Apparently, we were also at the bottom of the American continent, according the sign indicating such; this is where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet.

The end of the road.

Check out the rest of our trip here:

Patagonia Trip Report


1 comment:

  1. Those icebergs!! And the glacial lakes, and the mountains...and flamingos! Who knew?


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