Hiking Torres del Paine, W Circuit: Day 1

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Hiking Torres del Paine, W Circuit: Day 1

Hiking Torres del Paine, W Circuit: Day 1 is part of a 5-posts series. Find Day 2 here

The moment has finally come. I waited for this trek very long months. I would like to say I worked out hard to be in the best shape possible, but…No, I didn’t do it. 🙂 Furthermore, working on a brewery till a few days ago didn’t really help.

Well, we are ready to hike the W circuit of Torres del Paine, one of the most beautiful and breathtaking treks in the world.

Our day starts with a good breakfast at Wild Hostel in Puerto Natales, then we hurry up to the Rodoviario (so it’s called the bus station) taking the bus to Torres del Paine, Laguna Amarga entrance.

We stop just in front of the entrance and a ranger tells us what we need to do: filling the entrance form, pay the entrance, take a map and watch a video about the rules to respect once in the park.

In a half hour we are done and, instead of taking the bus to the first camping site (Campamento Central), we decide to walk. I straightaway spot a caiquén, the goose which populates the Patagonia. In one hour and a half, we reach the Campamento Central. We check in and we set up the tent, a The North Face Talus 4 – an excellent choice for the unpredictable (yes, it’s really unpredictable) Patagonian weather.

First-day goal: walk to the Torres del Paine. Just wondering, why are they called Torres del Paine? Well, I find out Paine is a little river in the park, and the massifs are named after it.

The first hour is pretty steep, but we are still fresh. Fortunately, the second hour goes smoothly and we arrive at the Campamento Chileno with a lot of energy left. In fact, the last 45 minutes prove to be the most difficult.

The Torres are stunning and I don’t really have other words to describe this beauty. I go up on a rock, and suddenly I spot a fox wandering about: I have time to change lens, zoom in and take some good shots.

A fox on the Torres

A fox on the Torres

After the photo-ops, we start going down. The descent takes us the same time of the climb.

It’s incredible how many people are hiking these trail. I realize there are a lot of unfit guys – and grannies, as well. For a day trek can be alright – I hope they are not hiking the whole W or O with sandals or holding a selfie stick all the time.

The Campamento Central offers good facilities – relatively clean bathrooms, dish-washing area, bins (not easy to find in other campsites), renting services, and a little shop. Everything is crazy expensive, though: we are in Patagonia. We meet two Chilean cousins, Kathi and Oscar, and we have dinner with them: a bowl of rice with tomato sauce and tuna.

The first day is already gone.

Snacks: 3 cereal bars and a banana

Dinner x 3: 350 g rice – 200 g tomato sauce – 2 tuna cans

Kms walked / Hours: 25 km / 7 h 30 min

Hiking Torres del Paine, W Circuit: Day 1 is part of a 5-posts series. Find Day 2 here