Valparaíso is only a two hour drive away from Santiago and definitely worth a visit! Getting off the bus I was a bit lost in the city and went in the completely wrong direction. Nevertheless I found some good street food there 😀 Luckily I found the way to the famous hills with their ascendors shortly afterwards. Valparaíso is just great for walking around, looking curiously around corners, walking stairs up and down and getting lost in the city's charme. And if you do not follow the advice of the German Department of Foreign Affairs you might even go an a ride on an ascendor 😀
I stayed in Puerto Natales for a couple of days. I really liked the small town and its atmosphere. The following pictures give some impressions of the town at the end of the world.
My advice: Take a taxi to Mirador Dorotea. It is a viewpoint on top of a hill outside of Puerto Natales. The taxi will take you to a small sheep farm where the hike up the hill starts. After about one hour you have an amazing view of Puerto Natales and the sea. If you are lucky you will be invited into the farmhouse on your way down for some tea and biscuits 🙂
This year I decided to travel to another perfect spot if you love mountains - Patagonia! I heard and read so much about this part of the world that I finally wanted to see it by myself!
From Stuttgart I took the plane via Atlanta to Santiago and from there it was another flight to the end of the world! When I arrived in Puerto Natales it was raining and windy and my first thought was 'Why didn't I go on vacation to a country where the sun is shining all day?'.
Anyway I stayed in the Wild Hostel which can be really recommended and the afternoon went by quickly because I had to organize a couple of things (lighters, gas cartridge, food). There was heavy rain all afternoon and I became really worried about my plan to do the eight day trek around the Torres del Paine. But the next morning the weather was absolutely perfect! The bus ride to the Torres del Paine National Park took about two hours and to see the landscape was absolutely amazing! There is so much space - no towns, no cars - only nature and many rainbows (guess why? :D).
I successfully completed the Torres del Paine Circuit in eight days. Every day was a new adventure. The weather changed within minutes and almost every day there was rain, sunshine, snow - and of course wind! I never thought that the wind can be that heavy. Sometimes I was not able to walk anymore or hold my camera to take photos. But all in all it was just a great experience. You are so close to nature and every day there is a new panorama. I was especially impressed by the Grey Glacier! I have seen many glaciers in the Alps, but this one is so huge! And of course the Torres del Paine - they are just amazing!
There were moments of pure joy and happiness, but also moments when I was really exhausted - because of the rain often everything was wet and moist, my back hurt a lot while carrying the 20kg backpack and my companion on the trek, my tent, broke two days before the finish (luckily I carried a repair set and a guy helped me to fix it :D). Nevertheless it was really worth all the effort and I can only recommend Patagonia to everybody who likes nature!! 🙂
Day 1: Park Entrance - Campamento Serón