Chilean Patagonia

Day 12 – Friday 19th October 2018
El Chalten – Puerto Natales
Distance travelled:-
By plane – 0
By foot – 11.8kms/ 7.32miles
By public transport – 269kms/167miles
Steps taken – 18,055


So after catching the 8am bus in El Calafete, leaving there in full glorious conditions with blue skies and no wind, we have arrived in Puerto Natales five hours later, crossing the border between Argentina and Chile, with an equally amazing day!

I should also say here that we got more amazing long distance views of Fitz Roy who was in full glory this morning saying her goodbyes to us as we travelled!

Border control I felt was a strange experience. On leaving Argentina we came into what appeared to be no man’s land which was a gravel track, book-ended on either side by an Argentinian and Chilean border control check point.

On leaving Argentina we all had to vacate the bus, go into a wooden hut and show passports then get back in the bus.

Argentina border control

We literally drove say five minutes then the bus stopped again and we had to vacate the bus this time with all our wordly goods on the Chile side.

Chile border control

We had to fill in an entry form, show passports and have our bags x-rayed…I should say here there was one guy on the ‘passport’ counter, and two guys working the x-ray machine…if a bag was deemed dodgy the whole process was stopped until the bag was opened and searched.

Now I should also point out here that our coach was massive and full with people and another coach had arrived also full of people…need I explain/say anymore on the subject of border control/crossings?

Well I will actually because we need to do this all over again in around a week’s time!! Yeah look forward to that whole experience.

So we were eventually good to go, the gate was unpaddlocked by one of the two guys on the x-ray machine (so that must have haulted that process again) and we entered Chile.

The divider…if Independence happened in Scotland, would border control between Scotland and England look like this 😂?

Not far into leaving Argentina and crossing over to Chile you could see the landscape changing. Hills were covered in grass, there was lots of grassland with grazing cattle, they do say it rains much more in Chile and these were some of the obvious signs.

We eventually reached Puerto Natales which is a town in the Chilean Patagonia. It is the gateway to trekking in the Torres del Paine National Park, which feeds of tourism.

The small waterside town and surrounding area is often overlooked for the park itself, but there appears to be plenty of things to see and do here and it’s busy, more so with locals it seems.

Corrugated-tin houses are strung shoulder to shoulder and in spite of many visitors the town still maintains the glacial pace of living endemic to Patagonia.

From here we will catch a bus on Sunday morning to take us to our hiking destination, a two hour journey.

We plan to hike the W Circuit in Torres del Paine which is a multi-day hike and if you look at a map you’ll quickly realise why it’s called the W Trek (route shaped like a letter W).

We had originally planned to hike The O Circuit which is a longer nine day hike but we were told this was not possible as some mountain passes were still closed due to high levels of snow still sitting….we had experienced a little of that on Fitz Roy so we could only imagine.

This is supposedly one of South America’s premier hikes, with breathtaking views of the Cordillera del Paine in Torres del Paine, the heart of the Chilean Patagonia.

Tonight we explored the town, checking out what was what, just trying to get our bearings for tomorrow as it was going to be a busy day getting organised for the days ahead!

Could this be the meedies?

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Alice Reid says:

    Never mind the Scottish border, perhaps this is a sign of what’s to come if nothing is settled on Brexit. You must be exhausted after all your travelling plus hiking. You’ll need a holiday to recover from your holiday when you get home😴. Think some of your photos are going “walkabout”.Was there a photo of a Chilean”medies”?If so it was replaced with a ?mark. Same happened yesterday but most photos are coming through and I still enjoy reading. Your blog. Look forward to next phase🏃🏽🏃🏽🏃🏽. Love /God Bless Aunty Alice xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol….we also said that!! Nightmare! Feeling ok actually, I find this pretty relaxing, some like to shop, I like to wander 😂…so yes having a nightmare with internet…see it’s not as easy as it appears! The connection isn’t strong enough therefore harder for photos to go through….I’ve tried uploading them again so if you check can you let me know if you get them please, yesterday’s too thanks! X

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  2. Helena Brogan says:

    We thought Stansted Airport passport control was bad enough!! Some of your photos not appearing Mary. Don’t know why? Have been looking at Torres del Paine and the W trek. Looks as if we’re all in for more lovely scenery and more mountains. Glad you got to see Mount Fitzroy again before you left. Suppose you’ll see it again on the way back?Enjoy the next bit of your adventure. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was funny at the same time to be honest, it just amazed me, but we are all different and that’s a good thing! Yes trek ahead looks stunning doesnt, we need this weather to continue though! Yes, we will get to see Fitz Roy again on way back if not covered in cloud…someone told us if your lucky she only appears fully 2 out if 7 days,?? I’ve tried fixing today and yesterdays pictures, internet so weak hard for photos to upload…see this blogging is hard work 😂😂 x

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  3. Helena Brogan says:

    Got the rest of the photos Mary. I can see the mountains beckoning in the background. I assume that’s where you’re heading next? Have a day off blogging…it must be tiring for you.😴 though I suppose you don’t want to disappoint all your followers. Hope the sunshine and blue sky continues for your next trek.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A perfect…we will be going beyond those mountains, it’s around a 2 hour drive. Hope the sun shines too!! X

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  4. Theresa Skelhorn says:

    Hi All photos have appeared and they are up to your usual standard spectacular. The water and sky so blue . I like the setting of the town with the mountains in the background and a view of the water looks interesting bigger than where you were. Like you I prefer to be outside walking rather than shopping, find that more tiring. Enjoy exploring the town I look forward to what tomorrow will bring .
    Theresa x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant re the photos…it’s hard to send them in weak signal so it looks like to me that they are attached but obviously they weren’t. Yes this town is much bigger than the others we have been at and feels less touristy here even although lots of tourist are here…more like a lived in town if that makes sense. X

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  5. Alice Reid says:

    No I must be the unlucky one. Was dying to see what the Chilean meedies looked like. Not to worry the ones I did get are lovely. Happy tracking.🙀Love/God Bless. Aunty Alice. Xx

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  6. Alice Reid says:

    Lena hasent sent me a copy looks really exciting. Have you seen any Indians yet? Don’t think the meedies are quite as picturesque as those photos but perhaps seeing them in real life is different 😀 Looks as if you have a good choice of food. Anyway. Eliz and Phil were visiting today and are enjoying your blog too.xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah…don’t know how that is…hopefully it will all come good! No real Indians as yet but would be great if we did see those….even better if they were chasing the gauchos 😂…food choices are good although I’d say it was more expensive this side of the border…maybe it’s just this town? Glad the cousins are enjoying 😁x

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