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Under the weather in Patagonia

53 °F

Update: The butt-kicker hike hasn’t happened yet. Both kids woke up on Wednesday with terrible colds, especially Henry. And then there was the weather. Rainy clouds covered the Torres this morning, and there didn’t seem to be any improvement coming in the near future. (We are hoping to do it Friday.)

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So instead, we decided to stay at our hotel as long as we could before check-out. You see, back in July, Sue booked the airline tickets first, then looked for hotels. Fairly standard way to plan travel, right?

The beginning of January is the busiest week in Torres del Paine National Park—Although those familiar with American national parks would still say that this park is not crowded.

Miles after miles of empty roads. Empty like a zombie apocalypse.
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At any rate, for our five days here, we had to book rooms at three different hotels.

Earlier, we had been staying at a hotel on the southwest border of the park. Today’s destination was an Estancia just past the far eastern border of the park. On the way to our new accommodation, we stopped for the two-hour round trip easy hike to Salto Grande (waterfall photo above) and Mirador Cuernos.

Our hike got off to a rough start with high winds and light rain, so we ate lunch and read books in the car waiting for the right moment. Once on the trail, the wind was so incredibly strong that it physically moved our bodies, causing Sue to trip and skin a knee. Low moods combined with the bad weather and low energy from sickness meant grumpy family. Not our finest moment. Really not.

Luckily for us, the weather improved as we hiked away from the waterfall, which had acted like a wind tunnel. After an hour of easy hiking, we enjoyed a picnic lunch with an incredible view and greatly improved moods. We even liked each other again.

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Allowing for birding stops, our trip to the Estancia (like a B&B) was a solid two hour drive along increasingly rustic roads. The final 12 kilometers did not even exist on google maps, yet we plunged ahead.
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Hard to believe that a beautiful Estancia is out here in the literal middle of nowhere. No wifi is a blessing sometimes, so we enjoyed card games, reading books, and reminiscing about our cruise to Antarctica.

The next morning, on our way to hotel #3, we drove past a beautiful area with giant boulders. No agenda. Just climbing, posing, and having fun together.
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Poor little lamb
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Traffic jam—thousands of sheep heading our way!
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Searching for a rare bird: Henry plays the sound of its call on his phone to see if the bird with respond. No luck this time for the Master.
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Our final accommodation in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia. Sort of a mobile home, heated by wood burning stove. Wifi 24/7. But electricity stops running from midnight to 7am, and it’s also off all afternoon. We’re going to have to be careful about how we charge our devices.
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Oh, and we have exactly the right amount of gas to make it back to civilization on Saturday. Wish us luck.

Posted by skwclar 14:11 Archived in Chile

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Ohhh! I hope you all feel better soon!

by ann palen

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