Torres del Paine
Tomorrow is the start of what I consider the biggest event of the trip so far. The culmination of our journey south. Accompanied by a guy from Australia and a girl from Washington, we will set out backpacking in Torres del Paine national park.
For 4 days we will hike the most scenic and popular route through the park. Battling the constant high winds, frequent rain, and biting cold, it will be the most demanding hiking trip I've ever been on.
The trip will only end after 4 days for one of us, however. Upon reaching the spot where there is a bus pickup, Sam will leave the park and make his way to Buenos Aires. I will continue on with our new friends and complete the full circuit, around the north side of the park, for an additional 4 days.
Not only will it be a challenging, awesome backpacking trip, but the first time Sam and I have separated on our journey for more than a day. Not that that's a bad thing, in fact quite the opposite I think. We have been together nearly 24-7 for almost 2 months, and while we still get along great, time apart will definitely be good.
Preparing for a trip like this is a very stressful endeavor. Not only do we have to make sure we have every piece of gear we will need but our food needs are quite significant. Preparing food for a week, for 3 people hiking at least 10 miles a day is no easy task. We have to make sure we have enough nutrients, protein and calories that we will have the strength to complete the journey, as well as varying the meals enough that we don´t end up eating the same junk every day. Having good food is a huge moral boost at the end of a long hike.
I am quite glad to be going on this trip with 2 other experienced backpackers, but I still feel the stress of everything needing to be perfectly prepared. Patagonia is not a forgiving place, and it has been a long time since I´ve done a hike even close to this demanding. I doubt I will sleep much tonight.
For me at least, there will be no new blog post or photos for at least a week. After the backpacking trip I will hopefully be going to El Chalten for a few days and from there meet Sam in Buenos Aires so we can continue our journey. An exciting 2 weeks is about to begin.