Another day of ferocious wind, but the hard work paid off when we got our first view of Torres del Paine National Park, the massif rising abruptly from the Patagonia steppe. A spectacular scene I’d seen before in travel magazines and on computer screens, but nothing compares to seeing it in person, feeling the warm sun on my face and the cold wind coming off the snowy peaks. After days of monotoned landscape devoid of distinction, it is a powerful experience to be in the presence of these ancient beauties which seem to stand in opposition to their surroundings.
We’re camping in a nook of trees at the base of the mountains, protected from the wind. We are so glad to be sleeping on the ground, where there is no shaking or swaying. We don’t have to worry about being blown over in the night. Last night while trying to sleep in the rodeo announcer’s booth, we were second-guessing our decision to sleep in something perched on dodgy scaffolding. There were moments we didn’t think the shoddy construction was going to hold together in the wind.
Tonight we snuck into the park volunteers’ bathhouse and had a gloriously hot shower. It’s been 7 days since we’ve done any bathing. It’s been too cold to wash in the rivers. We’ve been freshening with baby wipes but there’s only so much those things can do.