An 8 for 9am start even in Spanish/Argentinean time you could stretch a bit but with so many nationalities to co-ordinate you can imagine it was a bit later than planned when we finally got on the hills. Some of the crew had sat up pretty late in the end and moved onto shots too, so a pretty messy start.
Bernice was really suffering for the 1st hour of the walk – think it was Hayfever. She really had trouble breathing and her chest got pretty tight. Although we´ve done a few walks now this is the 1st one through greenery, grasses and shrubs. A couple of piriton and slowing down for a bit helped ease it off.
By lunchtime we´d all spread out and as we made our way (on a planned detour) to “Piedras Blancas” a small glacier there were only 8 of us still together. It was really worth the effort as it was a great view, we got really close – the 3rd best restaurant so far Fi!
Returning to the main route along with Michael, who was also camping out with us, (the others were just doing a day hike and back) we pitched our tent in an empty campsite. It had a sign up saying “climbers only” but we decided to ignore it as there clearly were none and the next nearest campsite we´d past about 40 minutes earlier.
Having lightened our loads a bit we set off for the final ascent to “Lago de las Tres” the lake at the foot of Fitz Roy. We had amazing views. Apparently its only clear 20 or so days of the year, well today was one of those, and we were all chuffed.
Bernice chilled o the rocks sunning herself while the rest of us ventured down to the lake and along its edge to view the hidden lake – it was worth seeing but not as spectacular as the main one.
Retreating back down the hillside we said our goodbyes to the day trippers and made for our camp. A feast of bread cheese and ham for starters followed by a green pea and tuna Risotto rewarded us well for our days efforts. Sadly though there was little daylight left to play cards and as the air cooled our sleeping bags were calling loud and clear.
Point to note: We are trying out for 1st time in anger, our little 1.5 man, 1kg Terra Nova Laser competition tent!!! See if it will be manageable for a 5-8 day hike around the “W” or full circuit at Torres del Paine!!!! Well cosy doesn´t even come close! There was barely room for the sleeping bags empty let alone with us inside them. That said the toughest aspect of the experience was the solid uncomfortable ground that even with roll mats was pretty unbearable. Hhmm….