into the great outdoors

I spent the last two days doing pretty much nothing. the day after my hike, I woke up feeling completely sore *everywhere*. my legs were aching like crazy, and walking or even getting out of bed was difficult. the one other really cool thing to do in Ushuaia is to do this short hike up to a glacier, but I was in no shape for hiking. instead I spent my day reading, being online, and just being lazy. the next day I felt a bit better, but there weren’t any buses out of town, so I was stuck in Ushuaia, and still couldn’t be bothered to do anything. the day after that, I had to wake up at 4:30 am to get down to the bus station and hope there were still tickets available to get out of town. luckily there were, and soon enough I was snoozing away on a bus heading north.

now, I’m in a town called Puerto Natales in Chile. I’m here to visit this park called Torres Del Paine, one of the most popular parks in all of south America. the scenery is supposed to be stunning and there is really good trekking around the park. the most popular trek is called the “W” because you follow a path that makes a “W” shape through the park. the trek usually takes about 4 days, so as of tomorrow, I’m spending 4 days out in the great outdoors.

the thing is, despite my short stint in the boy scouts at a young age, I really don’t know anything at all about trekking or camping. sure I’ve gone camping over the years… but it was always car camping, where you drive up with your car, haul out all the modern conveniences you could ever want (air mattress, electric inflator, collapsible picnic table, tons of cooking stuff, etc etc etc), and then spend a few days just sitting around, cooking, and taking in the sights. I’ve never really done the real kind of camping, where you hike for hella days and have to haul everything you need w/ you.

heh, it’s gonna be an interesting 4 days. I rented a tent/sleeping bag/mat/ tiny stove. I still need to figure out what food to bring (something not heavy I hope), figure out how to strap all this junk I’m hauling to my pack, find out what the deal is w/ water, etc. of course, I could have taken the easy way out. there are some basic shelters in the park, but it turns out that they charge like 32$ a piece and that’s just for a bed… and it’s freezing cold so you still need a sleeping bag etc. total ripoff.

so, tomorrow, off I go! wish me luck!


3 thoughts on “into the great outdoors”

  1. Hey Vlad, You can drink the water in the streams in the park–it tastes fantastic and it’s nice to actually be somewhere it’s safe to do that. I’m glad you decided to go for it. I wasn’t much of an adventurer before my trip either, and I did do the refugios instead of camping, but the W was definitely a highlight of my entire trip. I hope you have good weather! Which direction are you hiking? Have a great time!!!

  2. ah cool, tat´s good to know that drinking the water is safe! we´re going to go from east to west i think. i really hope we can finish it in 4 days! i´m not sure how that woud work since the bus returning from the park goes at 1pm, so i guess i have to finish the 4th day in just half a day?! yikes!

  3. Vlad! I’ll send you a more personal email, since it’s been a long while, but just in case you read this first, I thought I’d throw my two cents in. I love Chile! I’m so excited for you that you’re there. I also wouldn’t drink the water without filtering it or putting iodine in it (the tablets are pretty cheap and don’t taste too bad). I don’t know if there’s giardia down there, but my philosophy tends towards better safe than spending the next weeks stuck in the bathroom. Enjoy – Patagonia, that is:)

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