Chilean Patagonia

And what a day it was. What a couple of days it was actually, or was it three? Or maybe more? You could certainly spend more time here. Even though the fires in 2009 and 2011 had an impact on the countryside, with numerous skeletal remains of less fire resistant beech trees bearing silent witness to those events, it has added an additional element to the views which already had many facets. There are still many unburnt areas especially higher on the mountains of the Las Torres area, where you are rewarded by tall, shady Lenga forests. These are Beech trees related to the Beech found in some parts of Southern Australia and New Zealand, and represented by fossils in Antarctica. All part of Gondwanaland eons ago.

Exploring from my base at the Las Torres Hotel both alone and on guided tours, I explored towards Lago Nordenskjöld and around Laguna Inge up towards the Ascencio Valley to about a third of the way towards the Towers of Paine. There was also a boat trip up Lago Grey to get a close up view of the grey glacier, all topped off by a 12 hour road, boat and amble up towards and into the French Valley. The weather was startlingly good with many a wonderful could formation to accompany the photos. Much better than a boring blue sky. There was also the famed wind to help the cool blowing of the Patagonian icecap, especially at Lago Grey. One new hat was the cost of that.

And Guanacos seem to be everywhere with the occasional Condor visible soaring on the thermals. No Pumas though.

Anyway, next stop Argentina and El Calafate.



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