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Photographer's Note

Mariusz and Way showed such beautiful photos from Torres del Paine NP that I looked in my archive. I was there almost five years ago, in quite different photographic life - not yet TE Member, two cameras back, when the memory on cards was still expensive, so mine are not so good as theirs. Besides, I am worse photographer (no photographer at all in fact). But I am a keen traveller and want share my experience anyway.

Torres del Paine National Park is a national park encompassing mountains, a glacier, a lake, and river-rich areas in southern Chilean Patagonia. The Cordillera del Paine is the centerpiece of the park. It lies in a transition area between the Magellanic subpolar forests and the Patagonian Steppes. The park is located 112 km north of Puerto Natales and 312 km (194 mi) north of Punta Arenas. Bernardo O'Higgins National Park is its neighbour to the west, while Los Glaciares National Park is located to the north in Argentine territory (Wiki). It is wonderful place but not easy to travel. or rather, it is easy when the trip is well prepared in advance (when you want to go without organized tour). The reason for it is the emptiness of the area. In all Patagonia, on the territory three times as big as Poland live less then two million people. To the torres del Paine Park one can go from Puerto Natales in Chile or El Calafate in Argentina. Both towns rather far taking into account the roads. There are buses but not every day. So the best possibility is to rent a car. I was with my husband (driver) so I rented the car already in Warsaw, by Internet. The guy was waiting at the airport with all papers ready to sign. The main problem is where to sleep in the Park. There are four possibilities: cheapest one is the campsite and the tent. But the area is windy and cold even in summer. There is a hotel Explora’s Hotel Salto Chico (www.explora.com; four nights: $1,560 to $2,688 per person), rather expensive option, other one is Hosteria Pehoe where Mariusz stayed, also expensive, and the third is Paine Grande Mountain Lodge, it is on the photo here. It is a bit cheaper and has this advantage that it is closer to Cuernos. We had wonderful view of them from our room. The photo was made from a path to Cuernos, they are behind me. There is no road to the Lodge, one must leave the car on the park place and then go with a boat through Lake Pehoe. If you look carefully you can see a small white point on the left ot the lodge - it is a boat. It goes one or two times a day, I do not remember. The border with Argentina is a bit unfriendly. They check all the papers long time, besides, going from Argentina you are not allowed to bring any fruits, vegetables or cheese (!). We had some and when they wanted to take it from us, we just sat and ate all.
The colour of water may seem much exaggerated but in fact it is like this. It is because of the glaciers nearby - so called glacier milk.

It was the longest of my all journeys: Warsaw-London-Miami-Santiago de Chile-Easter Island-Santiago-punta Arenas-El Calafate-Torres del Paine-Puerto Montt-Valparaiso-Santiago- Miami-London-Warsaw on geodesics 37 500 km.



In the WS the view of the road to Torres del Paine, our car (and someone called Lazy Feet (when I am Signora Itchy Feet :))...). About my strange adventures read
here

Guenther, snunney, saxo042, tyro, edge, skippy007, Angshu, mkamionka, elenimavrandoni has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5177 W: 81 N: 13312] (76483)
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