For the past four days we’ve been hunting scorpions, scouring the horizon for pumas and doing what TLC said we should never do – chasing waterfalls. And very windy glaciers.
Torres del Paine is mind-blowingly beautiful and because we went at the start of the ‘season’ we got most of it to ourselves with the guys from the glampacker’s choice of accommodation, EcoCamp Patagonia. Hurrah! There are definite benefits to travelling when everyone else says you shouldn’t. Another is that you can dress up like Julie Andrews and pose against a backdrop of mountains knowing no one will see you or judge you.
In Torres del Paine we got a few of those rare blue sky days which lit up the park and made us skip with the joys of spring up all those mountains. Well, it would have done if we didn’t prefer sitting on rocks, looking pretty:
Autumn and me aren’t hikers, really. We are afraid of being hikers because hikers wear bad clothes and talk about birds too much. Our guides, Claudio, Diego and Rafael liked birds a lot, but that’s OK because they’re young and hot and we can forgive young and hot men for liking birds. Here they are looking very small as they admire some ducks.
Me and Autumn made some great videos as we danced over bridges and puffed up hills in the shadow of monstrous snow-splattered mountains and circling condors. I bet ‘hikers’ don’t have the entire chorus of ‘Call me Maybe’ in several different locations to upload when they eat beans from a can and tuck themselves into their thermal sleeping bags at night. We do. Here I am performing for the hills and making like an eagle at the same time:
I know you’ll be very interested to see these videos and are now probably awaiting them with baited breath.
Anyway, by doing things glampacker style we got to live like hobbits in our EcoCamp Patagonia dome and have our fires lit every morning by a different man. And that is not innuendo (tut, filthy minds). It was essential to get up relatively early to appreciate morning light, like this.
And views, like this, as modelled by Diego.
Deigo, Claudio and Rafael told us all about nature and why EcoCamp Patagonia is fast attracting visitors from all over the world. The domes are based on the rather sensible homes set up by the Kaweskar – who were nomadic Patagonian inhabitants who arrived here by canoe in the fifteenth century. They would construct and dismantle similar semi-circular huts, leaving no marks at all after their departure. They did not have solar-powered plug sockets, showers and composting toilets in their domes, (and they probably didn’t dry their undies on a wicker drawer either) but somehow they managed.
You can read about everything we did in the middle of nowhere (including another interesting dress up session and a random party with travelling not-so-desperate housewives on a boat surrounded by glaciers) in Latinalicious – The South American Diaries. There may have been whisky involved.
Until then, here’s a nice photo of Rene, who manages the place and makes sure everyone has enough wine at dinner time. Very important.
Thanks EcoCamp Patagonia. Keep on rocking in the rocks of Torres del Paine! You can see more photos of the incredible scenery here. And there are even better ones coming soon from Autumn Mooney.
Can’t wait for Latinalicious to come out? Keep following this blog for pics and stories en route!