Travelwithjules: Patagonia [Day Four]

The next two days of hiking are often completed by people in ONE DAY.

That’s something I’m grateful for– being able to take our time. To have the option to wait 20 minutes for a cloud to pass or just stop to look around and take it all in.

I feel like many people rush through the “W-Trek” because of the time crunch to finish the entire route. [Pro] is you get to see more views. [Con] is are you really able to appreciate all the beauty around you?

I’m probably just jealous because we didn’t get to hike through French Valley

We had the best weather during these two last days, but with the toughest trails because of the insanely high incline.

From base to top is around 2,467 feet! I never wanted to quit, but I sure felt like taking an indefinite break. Ha.

In the picture below, you can see Camp Paine Grande, which is where we spent the night. You can imagine our view at breakfast.

Our last look before taking the ferry on Lake Pehoé again.

Views during our bus ride to Camp Torres Central.

After rearranging our things to condense what we needed into one backpack at Torres Central, we left our things there , and started our 3.5-mile hike to Camp Chileno.

Basically hiking uphill the entire time.

So this meant many many breaks.

Khang and I saw faces of fatigue on almost everyone hiking down while we hiked up. Remember that people usually hike from Torres Central to Las Torres in one day and we were doing it in two days.

I forgot to mention how Khang and I said “Hola!” to almost everyone we passed by on all five days that we were there.

Yep, we were that couple.

No matter the weather or how tired we were…if you were near us then we greeted you. Khang got fancy on me and started saying “Buenos Dias”, which means “Good morning”. We said those two phrases so much that he research on how to say “Good luck hiking today”… um yeah…I told him that was maybe trying too hard.

Talk about a valley! This was the flattest it got during the hike, which was also at the very end. My thighs were so relieved!

Camp Chileno was the only place where we camped and it was the perfect choice because it felt like we were camping in the trees.

The bathrooms weren’t very clean so we opted not to shower and went straight to bed after dinner.

I enjoyed dinner at Camp Chileno the most. We were served this deliciously fresh appetizer that I cannot forget about. You can bet to see it on “Cookingwithjules” in the near future.

It was hard because the sun doesn’t set till almost 10 pm in Patagonia. Awesome for hiking all day, but bad when you’re planning to wake up really really early the next day.

Us trying to map out our way for the hike to Las Torres. 

Thanks to Khang’s master planning–the highlight of our trip was on the last day of trekking to Las Torres.

And boy was it absolutely brilliant.

Oh gosh, I can’t wait to share with you guys. One more day. I promise it’ll be worth it.

Thanks for reading and following along,

with me

Jules.

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Travelwithjules: Patagonia [Day Three]

The worst weather we had was on [Day Three].

Remember that crazy weather I mentioned yesterday?

“Cloudy, sun, rain, sun, sleet, rain, and sun–all in one day”

This was the day.

Hence very few photos.

We left Camp Grey and headed back to Camp Paine Grande (7 miles).

I forgot to mention yesterday about the areas where fires occurred along our hike from Camp PG to Camp Grey. We heard people talking about a fire in 2011, but didn’t really know the details.

“More than 16,000 hectares (nearly 40,000 acres) were destroyed by a fire that forced the closure of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park between December 29, 2011, and January 4, 2012, and caused permanent environmental damage in one of the most beautiful places in the world…on December 29, 2011, another Israeli citizen caused the second fire in one year when he tried to burn some toilet paper. The devastation, in this case, was far worse. So much so that volunteers from all over the world came to offer help, including Australian firefighters.”

Full article here.

Even after over 5 years, you can still see the devastation. This is probably why the park is very strict about their “fire policies”. All visitors also MUST have lodging reservations if they want to stay at the park overnight. You cannot freely camp along the trails.

And for good reason. Be responsible when you’re out there enjoying Mother Nature’s beauty y’all.

[Insert hiking photos of us in the rain, pushing against strong winds, and running in sleet]

We checked-in at Camp PG and dried off. I was ready for a nap, but the weather was sunny again so off we went on a 2-mile hike to a lookout at Lake Sköttsberg.

A closer look at Lake Pehoé.

When we made it to the lookout, a huge cloud was covering the mountain (still not sure of its name).

I asked Khang if we could wait a “little” to see if the clouds would move.

He was totally cool with it so we found a rock to sit on and waited for 2o minutes.

And what a difference 20 minutes make.

Now is the perfect time to praise Khang. He was so patient with me when I wanted to stop and take photographs. He didn’t once complain about me taking too long.

There was a moment when he even held his hat over the Nikon to keep it from getting wet so I could focus on focusing the camera!

Not only was he patient with me taking pictures.

He was just patient with me.

And I could not have been more surprised. Of course, he’s always been, but y’all I was so so slooooooow hiking up those inclines. It was really hard on me.

But his hand was always there to meet me when I struggled to get up on a rock,

or he was behind me lifting up my heavy backpack to take some weight off.

I feel like I really learned the meaning of “Love is patient” during this trip. If you’re searching for a “marriage retreat”, look no further.

Patagonia will not only test you, it will test and strengthen your marriage.

Okay, continuing on…

We headed back to Camp PG once we realized the clouds weren’t going to spoil us anymore.

[Insert running in the rain and realizing you have flurries on your eyelashes]

And there it was… waiting for us…a nice warm fireplace.

The final two days were my favorite. Can’t wait to share more tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and following along,

with me

Jules.

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Travelwithjules: Patagonia [Day One]

WE DID IT Y’ALL!!!

So so much to share.

To keep it real simple, we’ll try a day at a time and without explaining every little detail because it’ll just be confusing. The highlights and moments worth mentioning. To me at least. I mean it took us 3 plane rides, 3 bus rides, and 1 ferry just to get us to where we needed to start our first official hike haha

I’m hoping the pictures will tell our adventure. However, I’m disappointed in myself because I didn’t take photos of everything. The weather conditions were at times really harsh including wind so strong that it knocked me off my feet. There were also times when I just needed to conserve my energy to make it to the top of a hill.

Khang did take video, but it’ll be awhile till he’ll be able to get it all together.

Like I mentioned before, we embarked on a mission to trek the Patagonia mountains in Torres del Paine.

We definitely weren’t prepared. Ha. It was so intense. The most physically challenging experience in my life. But more rewarding than I could ever imagine. The breathtaking views were worth it. All of it. More on that later.

All photos were take with my iPhone 6 or Nikon D3200.

Okay, here we go!

The night before heading to Torres del Paine, we stayed in a small quaint town called Puerto Natales at a hostel. It’s not a fancy place, but friendly people and warm spaces.

Our first view at the Welcome Center of Torres del Paine.

The next few photos are during our bus ride to Laguna Armaga, where we would wait for a ferry.

Even though it was cold and windy, we rushed to the top of the ferry to catch the best views of Lake Pehoé.

We started our first hike from Camp Paine Grande to Camp Grey, which was about 7 miles. We also couldn’t buy food at Camp PG so we hiked the entire way on empty stomachs. My people know about “Hangry Jules”. Luckily we packed trail snacks-morale was low especially since we were eating our emergency stash on the very first day…

The first of many many breaks.

It’s kind of hard to tell now, but in the background is Glacier Grey.

I’m always holding Khang’s face in my hands. Finally captured it.

We each carried ONE BACKPACK with us. It contained mostly our clothes. We decided to go the “easy route” and bought “full board” at each refugio (campsite) so we didn’t have to worry about carrying/cooking food or carrying tent supplies.

Shout out to Emily (yes, that same Emily) for letting me borrow her Osprey backpack. It was a lifesaver. I’m planning to purchase one for myself.

Mountains in-focus.

Mountains out-of-focus.

Fields of flowers. Le sigh. Didn’t see them anywhere else than along the trails to Glacier Grey.

I tried to take as many photos of the trails as possible to show the different types of terrain we dealt with. 

I cannot explain my relief when we finally saw Camp Grey!

We shared a room with another couple, who were really nice once they warmed up to us. This was the view from our window.

Needless to say, I slept very well that night on the top bunk.

And I needed all the rest I could get for Day Two’s hike to Glacier Grey.

Thanks for reading and following along,

with me

Jules.

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