Friday, April 29, 2011

Coming Back Down

April 1, Friday, continued
We stayed a while at the Mirador Los Torres, hoping that the mist would clear and we'd get a clear shot of all the towers, but that was not to be. Mountains seem to make their own weather. I once read a description of a "cloud looking for a mountain to cling to" and that might be accurate.

As we went down the trail we met a few groups coming up. The first was three young Dutchmen, asking "How much further?" Dear Son said, only 15 minutes, and I added, "If I could do it, you can!" Each small group of hikers asked the same question, "How much further?"
Well, that was just what we had wondered. On our way up D.S. had said a few times, "Just over the ridge," and finally, "I hate to say it again, but it's just over there."

Not very far down the trail we saw a beautiful red fox. I snapped a few photos of him running among the trees.

Later we stopped beside the trail to make some lunch: couscous with a little parmesan sprinkled over it. It's remarkable how good everything tastes outdoors, especially when you've worked up an appetite.

As we were eating the young Dutchies came down the trail and said, "Thanks for encouraging us!"

On the downhill trek both D.S. and I said, quite emphatically, that we didn't want to sleep another night in that cold, cold campground. We decided to pack up and go back to the comfort of the hotel Las Torres.

We reached the campground at 5 p.m. and in 15 minutes had taken down the tent and packed it and our sleeping bags and all our gear into our backpacks. We set off again, and enjoyed the lovely Ascensio Valley on
our way down.

This is the view of the broad valley we are heading for. I had a short video clip that I tried to upload, but no dice, so we'll settle for this still.

It took us a full two hours to descend from El Chileno campground to the hotel Torres. I could feel my middle toe on my right foot complaining about how much downhill we were doing that day, but at that point I was too tired to even answer it. (That toenail is still purple. I think I'll lose it.)

At 7:15 we checked back into the hotel, had a hot shower and went down to the lounge for some supper, not choosing the expensive (but nice) buffet meal. We both ordered a "Patagon Burger" which turned out to be one of those humungous burgers I showed earlier, but even better: this one had everything on it, including avocado. It was super good and thoroughly appreciated.

So our BIG DAY ended in comfort and pleasure. We figured we had hiked about 14 kilometers in all that day. It was a fantastic experience and neither of us will ever forget it. Thanks to D.S. for making it possible for me to have this wonderful experience! I couldn't have done it without him!

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