After two quiet days on the Lago Roca near the Perito Moreno glacier and a great asado on an over 100 year old Estancia, we head 350 km south to another highlight of the Patagonian Andes: the Torres del Paine.
Driving is quite a challenge due to the very strong wind, I have to concentrate fully on keeping Shujaa on the road and the gas mileage skyrockets to 50 liters / 100 km in the headwind, a consumption we usually only have in deep sandy terrain. From the east we drive towards the imposing Torre del Paine massif – sometimes it is compared to the “Drei Zinnen” in the Dolomites – but after tracking around both mountain groups I consider the Torres del Paine to be much more imposing.
We do two long day hikes and are lucky with the weather, so we can take beautiful pictures. The view from the miradores (viewpoints) is often phenomenal. We have never experienced such landscape diversity. Lakes in a variety of colors -blue, gray, brown, turquoise, azure-, mountains with bizarre shapes, glaciers in huge proportions, forests in the most beautiful green and ice floes on a lake in the shape of an icing. A rainbow over all this comes on top.
On one hike, Karin has to turn around 20 meters before the rocky and unprotected summit, because the wind will not let her go any further. Oliver is also repeatedly torn to the ground. This blows unhindered over the southern Patagonian ice plate directly to our desired vantage point. She understandably gets very annoyed, but her life is more important to her.
Similar to the Fitz Roy massif we have visited before, there are many tourists from all parts of the world – unfortunately, it is very rare to walk alone. Our big advantage is that with Shujaa we can spend the night where and when we want and therefore we are completely alone in the morning and in the evening in very beautiful places and so we can avoid other people a bit.
In addition to the fact that the glaciers and the “high alpine scenery” are almost at sea level, the very fast change of weather is impressive: just a kind of “Föhnsturm” with 24° C and a few hours later there is a snowstorm at 3° C.
With many great experiences we leave the Patagonian Andes after several weeks and drive towards Tierra del Fuego – the southernmost region of our trip around the world.