After paying our entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park of Chile, which was 36,000 Chilean pesos, around 80 bucks at the time, we were off on our drive. We passed a small turnoff at the start of our day just at the entrance to the park, and went to explore but I couldn't tell if it was an estancia, private property or what. Since we'd been denied permission to do the Torres hike because of the snows the previous night and our late start, we set off on the main road, just to see where the day would take us. I was so disappointed in the turn of events, but it turned out to be a stupendous day....
The animals above are related to llamas, and are called guanacos.
The scenery in this part of the world is staggering in its beauty and enormity.
These mountains are part of the Andes and these in the Torres del Paine park make up a group called the Cordillera Paine.
They are granite peaks and the elevations have not been measured with reliable accuracy, so take it with a grain of salt that the highest peak is said to be 2,884 meters/9,462 feet.
They certainly looked impressive enough to me.
Lucky for us, there were some places to pull off and snap photos. This was a great day.
We experienced many types of weather. It was sunny and gorgeous, it got really cloudy and overcast, and we got precipitation in the form of rain and snow. We had prepared well by dressing in lots of layers and water-resistant stuff. One thing was constant: wind.
It was time to take a real hike, and we parked in a little lot and set off on a stroll that wasn't difficult and took a little over an hour. The views were still incredible, and we got a little closer..
We had run into a handful of people along our way but it was quiet and still felt secluded.
We made our way down to a little beach with clear, ice-cold water and took some time to enjoy the moment. The beach was rocky, at the bottom of a fairly steep hill we scrambled down.