5/20, day 11:
Today we got up early and took the 7:30 bus from Puerto Natales to Torres Del Paine. It was a beautiful bus ride, we got to see the sunrise and a good view of Torres Del Paine with a lake in front of it.
When we got off the bus, we found out the trek we wanted to do (the whole circuit) was closed on the back section, so we only were able to do the "W" trek.
We then began to hike on the road towards the park. Two hours later of mostly uphill, we realized we were not going in the right direction. So we turned around and walked about an hour back to where we started, and luckily a friendly family from Canada gave us a ride the rest of the way.
I was pretty frustrated, because it was tiring hiking uphill for 3 hours, and we had not even started the 10k we wanted to walk, which was also a lot of uphill. When we got walking the right direction, my body ached, my hands were swelled, my feet killed, and I was mentally exhausted: it was not a fun hike, especially with a 25-30 pound backpack.
We were trying to walk to a campsite 3.5 hours up the mountain, but after an hour uphill we decided to turn around and camp at the base of the hill, as I was exhausted and it was close to dark.
That was also pretty frustrating for me, I was having a pretty rough day. And on top of that, we couldn't find the campsite at the base of the mountain, and it was getting dark, so that was stressful. It was a pretty rough start to our trek, but luckily tomorrow was better.
5/21, day 12:
Today we hiked for about 3.5-4 hours, mostly uphill, to a campsite in the mountains. This time I took it slow and walked at a steadier pace, and I liked hiking a lot better when I walked slower.
The uphill section seemed way easier, and my backpack didn't feel as heavy. We got to the campsite around noon and got our tent set up. We then decided to hike without our packs an hour up a more difficult hill to see the Mirador del Torres lookout.
I really enjoyed walking without the backpack, and I realized uphill climbing is something I like to do.
When we got to the top of the mountain, there was a beautiful lake with a breathtaking view of the Torres towers; it was one of the most beautiful things I've seen. Today was 100% better than yesterday, and I'm glad I pushed through and had a better time than the day before.
5/22, day 13:
Today we got up at 6am and started hiking back up to Mirador del Torres to watch the sunrise. We found a nice big boulder to sit on, and eventually, other people joined us on the rock: two people from the UK, two people from the USA (Texas and Washington), someone from France, and someone from Israel.
We shared some cake together that the man from Israel offered as we waited for the sunrise. Unfortunately, there weren't too many colors from the sunrise, but as it rose higher, the towers were a beautiful gold color. I think in the end it was worth getting up in the below freezing weather early in the morning.
5/23-5/26, days 14-17:
The next three trekking days in Torres Del Paine were pretty incredible. The mountains were beautiful, the lakes and rivers were s bright and brilliant blue, and the hiking trails were great. We got to see a pretty cool avalanche (from far away) one of the days.
We also met a lot of people, many from the US. One person we meet was from South Carolina, and he was trekking the W the same way we were. We ended up hiking with him for the last two days, and it was pretty cool hearing about his experiences in South America, as he is here for study abroad.
We ended up staying in the park for 7 days and 6 nights, and it was a pretty good first trekking experience for me, it was worth the 30-hour bus ride down.