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Trekking to the far end of the world - Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Hidden away from the rest of the world, Torres del Paine National Park in Southern Patagonia, Chile is a beautiful gem that completely blew my mind during our 5 day trek last week. I still dream about it every night and can't wait to go back.

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What is it about lighthouses?

I love lighthouses. And I know I'm not the only one. The attraction lighthouses has on me is equivalent to what lots of people feel when they see a brand new Aston Martin in the street or probably how a horse enthusiast feels when a proud Arabic horse is running across the fields in the sunset. There's something magic about them.

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Life is good

Green Adventures is not only about work. It's about a passion, not only for kayaking but for all the amazing things we can do in the outdoors. Last weekend I had a wonderful time on a mirror calm sea just outside my door step.

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Trekking to the far end of the world - Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

skapad 2015-10-21 i 'Green Adventures Blog'

 

Through my work for the Adventure Travel Trade Association I've had the opportunity to explore some of the destinations that I've been dreaming about the last 15 years. In 2013 we organized the ATWS (Adventure Travel World Summit) in Namibia and I finally got to hike the breathtaking sand dunes of Sossusvlei. I've visited Greenland where I got invited to do a short paddle outside Nuuk with Malik, a devoted paddler and last year the ATWS went to Killarney, Ireland - a destination I've had in my mind since I was 15 years old.

18 years ago, I went on my first backpacking trip. The destination? South America for 4 months. And it was awesome. My mum and dad probably didn't like the idea as much as I did but I was eager to see the world and ever since my high school teacher Bengt Mitsell gave a slide show presentation about Peru and offered us some Peruvian sweets (which were not that delicious when I think about it) I told myself that one day I will explore South America on my own. 18 years ago I traveled from Brazil to Argentina, over the Andes to Chile and then continued north through one of the thinnest and longest countries on this planet. Why, oh why didn't I turn my nose south I'm asking today. The northern parts of Chile are stunning in it's own way but Patagonia is one of a kind.

This year, roughly about 2 weeks ago, we co hosted the 2015 ATWS in Puerto Varas, in the beautiful lake district together with Turismo Chile. And it was a blast. 700 adventure people from 55 countries spent 5 days discussing, planning, exploring, developing and enjoying the adventure travel community. But once the Summit was over, it was time for a Summit Detox, which lead me and Lukasz to Patagonia and the Torres del Paine National Park.

During 5 days we hiked the W Circuit from Las Torres to Paine Grande and it was stunning. Weatherwise we had everything on the scale from sun to rain to snow to strong winds. The trek itself was a bit challenging at times since we both had caught the notorius Summit Flu and especially I was struggling with fever, coughing, a running nose and legs who didn't feel like running uphill with a heavy backpack on my back. But it could have been worse. At least I was moving forward every day and in the middle of the trek, Lukasz proposed to me at los Cuernos, next to the Nordenskjöld Lake and for a moment all the struggling with the flu was swept away.

The trek was planned and organized by Fantastico Sur and if you ever plan on heading to Patagonia, we strongly encourage you to get in touch with them. They are doing an amazing job. Thank you Ximena, Susanne, Antonio and Mauricio for your loving hospitality. We don't know how to thank you enough.

We also go the chance to do some glaciar kayaking with BigFoot Patagonia and that is another memory that will stick with me for the rest my life. A huge thanks to Eduardo, Alexis and Jorge for making the stay at Grey Glaciar special to us.

Last but not least, Bergans of Norway were kind enough to support us with some great Rondane backpacks which helped make the trek a lot easier and more comfortable than I could imagine. Thank you Mike and Peter at Bergans in Germany for your generous contribution to our trip.

See some of my pics here below and if you click the images, they will be presented in a Lightbox, meaning a lot bigger than they are presented here below the text.

Beautiful morning overlooking the Osorno volcano in Puerto Varas.

Beautiful morning overlooking the Osorno volcano in Puerto Varas.

The Calbuco volcano errupted earlier this year, hence the flat top.

The Calbuco volcano errupted earlier this year, hence the flat top.

We had a lovely stay at the Ilaia hotel in Punta Arenas. Great staff, tasty breakfast and cozy atmosphere.

We had a lovely stay at the Ilaia hotel in Punta Arenas. Great staff, tasty breakfast and cozy atmosphere.

The road to the end of the world was pretty straight...

The road to the end of the world was pretty straight...

We were invited to the Kusanovic family ranch and got to meet a big part of the Kusanovic family. Great experience and delicious lunch.

We were invited to the Kusanovic family ranch and got to meet a big part of the Kusanovic family. Great experience and delicious lunch.

At the ranch, there was one sheep left for the show they said.

At the ranch, there was one sheep left for the show they said.

And boy, what a good looking fellow now don't you think?

And boy, what a good looking fellow now don't you think?

Driving into the Torres del Paine national park, we had to stop all the time for breath taking views like this one.

Driving into the Torres del Paine national park, we had to stop all the time for breath taking views like this one.

We spent the first night at Las Torres refugio which also had a nice hotel with a cozy bar and friendly staff.

We spent the first night at Las Torres refugio which also had a nice hotel with a cozy bar and friendly staff.

Early in the morning we were invited to join the baquenos to collect 100 horses from the field. It was awesome!!!

Early in the morning we were invited to join the baquenos to collect 100 horses from the field. It was awesome!!!

We then continued up to el Chileno refugio on horses. I must say I think I've been bitten by the horse bug...

We then continued up to el Chileno refugio on horses. I must say I think I've been bitten by the horse bug...

Hiking further up to the Torres (the Towers) the weather was a bit moody but we were not in a hurry and waited...

Hiking further up to the Torres (the Towers) the weather was a bit moody but we were not in a hurry and waited...

...until it cleared and the towers showed us all they had. Stunning feeling to be sitting there infront of these giants.

...until it cleared and the towers showed us all they had. Stunning feeling to be sitting there infront of these giants.

Back at el Chileno refugio we had a delicious dinner next to the fire. Pretty romantic I must say.

Back at el Chileno refugio we had a delicious dinner next to the fire. Pretty romantic I must say.

During the second day we met a Dutch and a Dane on the trail. They melted well together with the colours that surrounded them.

During the second day we met a Dutch and a Dane on the trail. They melted well together with the colours that surrounded them.

The mandatory selfie.

The mandatory selfie.

During one of the river crossings, the bridge was broken and our boots had to work harder.

During one of the river crossings, the bridge was broken and our boots had to work harder.

The morning we left los Cuernos (the Horns) the rain had turned to snow during the night and had covered Mother Nature in a thin layer of white powder. Amazing contrasts and I'm glad I had brought a hat and gloves.

The morning we left los Cuernos (the Horns) the rain had turned to snow during the night and had covered Mother Nature in a thin layer of white powder. Amazing contrasts and I'm glad I had brought a hat and gloves.

Just after Camp Italiano, the hanging bridge made us both hold our breaths for a few seconds.

Just after Camp Italiano, the hanging bridge made us both hold our breaths for a few seconds.

Paine Grande. Nothing else to say but impressive.

Paine Grande. Nothing else to say but impressive.

Doing the hike up to the Grey Glacier is one of the most beautful treks I've ever done in my life so far.

Doing the hike up to the Grey Glacier is one of the most beautful treks I've ever done in my life so far.

A lonely iceberg is slowly moving across the Grey Lake.

A lonely iceberg is slowly moving across the Grey Lake.

An afternoon paddle next to the Grey Glacier anyone? Oh yeah!

An afternoon paddle next to the Grey Glacier anyone? Oh yeah!

Being this close to a glacier gives you perspectives in life and a great devotion to nature.

Being this close to a glacier gives you perspectives in life and a great devotion to nature.

Jorge contemplating about life, I guess.

Jorge contemplating about life, I guess.

The Chile and Magellan flags are waiving us good bye when it's time to leave the park.

The Chile and Magellan flags are waiving us good bye when it's time to leave the park.

We met 2 guys who had managed to climb the Paine Grande in September. Only 3 people had done it before them. All credit to those guys, such a bald thing to do.

We met 2 guys who had managed to climb the Paine Grande in September. Only 3 people had done it before them. All credit to those guys, such a bald thing to do.

It was wonderful to be hanging out in Patagonia and I can't wait for us to go back. There are a lot of reasons to travel there again and I guess it's just a matter of time until we find ourselves back in Patagonia.

It was wonderful to be hanging out in Patagonia and I can't wait for us to go back. There are a lot of reasons to travel there again and I guess it's just a matter of time until we find ourselves back in Patagonia.

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Latest from the blog

Trekking to the far end of the world - Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Hidden away from the rest of the world, Torres del Paine National Park in Southern Patagonia, Chile is a beautiful gem that completely blew my mind during our 5 day trek last week. I still dream about it every night and can't wait to go back.

» Full story...

What is it about lighthouses?

I love lighthouses. And I know I'm not the only one. The attraction lighthouses has on me is equivalent to what lots of people feel when they see a brand new Aston Martin in the street or probably how a horse enthusiast feels when a proud Arabic horse is running across the fields in the sunset. There's something magic about them.

» Full story...

Life is good

Green Adventures is not only about work. It's about a passion, not only for kayaking but for all the amazing things we can do in the outdoors. Last weekend I had a wonderful time on a mirror calm sea just outside my door step.

» Full story...

Subscribe to the blog