Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Wet Day on the Trail

March 30, Wednesday
Although it wasn't raining when we started out this morning, we did encounter several
showers. This was scheduled to be our longest hike, 11 km., so we were on our way by 8:45 a.m. after breakfast at the refugio.

The hike led along Lake Nordenskjold, and was not too strenuous in terms of up and down hills. There is always some of that up and down hiking, but like the hike to Cuernos, it was moderate today.

We stopped now and then for a bite to eat, especially enjoying that milk chocolate we had bought at the Cuernos refugio.

I had been hearing a noise I couldn't identify which revealed itself to us at one point: two strings of horses being led along the trail. They were going at quite a clip but we were able to step off the trail out of their way. This part of the park is part of a privately owned ranch. Plus, it is possible to hire horses to traverse these trails.

We had to cross several streams along the
way, and I mean without bridges. The Cuernos were visible again from our hiking path. By afternoon we were both walking in soaked, squishy shoes. Not the most comfortable experience!

In the afternoon we this passed through this desolate looking area, but just over the ridge we saw a very welcome sight: this rustic, but luxurious hotel complex. The grey building in the
forefront is still under construction and the red buildings beyond it are the hotel itself. This is the hotel Torres. We had intended to stay at either the refugio or the campground, which are beyond the hotel. But when I saw the hotel and thought about a comfy bed, a room impervious to rain and a hot shower, I told D.S., "I want to stay at the hotel! I don't care how much it costs!" He was agreeable to that and by 3 p.m. we were checked into the hotel and getting warmed up and cleaned up.

It was a splurge! The room was expensive, but worth it. The buffet dinner cost $45 USD each, and we realized later that the bottles of plain water we ordered for with our meals were $8 USD apiece! It was a good meal, and we sat near the fireplace.

During the night I heard rain pouring down heavily, and was grateful for a warm, dry bed.

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