The W Circuit – Day Three

Day 16 – Tuesday 23rd October 2018
Day 3 : Refugio Paine Grande – Campamento Italiano
Distance travelled:-
By plane – 0
By foot – 26 kms/ miles 15.81
By public transport – 0
Steps taken – 31,750

Today was meant to be a long tough day so we got up early…AGAIN…to begin our walk to Campamento Italiano which took us around 3 hours.

Can you see the fox, I’d like to say Puma but it was a fox!

It was such a beautiful walk up to this point, surrounded by green trees, mountain tops and lakes.

The French Valley ascended through burned forests, across rivers before arriving at Glacier Francés.

Our usual water source

When I walk I like to focus on the small things that make the world so beautiful, sometimes I cannot seem to do this within the standard daily busy schedule of normal life.

Once at camp we were pretty tired but we heard there were two amazing walks further up a trail. We dumped our heavy ruck sacks, packed our light gear bags and headed straight back out of camp again as it was meant to be a pretty long 3hr walk.

So from camp we headed to Mirador Francés which took around another 2 hours of walking uphill. The French Valley makes up the middle stretch of the W, and can be very slippery and dangerous with mud, snowmelt, and ice. That didn’t stop us.

I was amazed by the stunning shapes of the ‘Francés Valley’ that we were in.

It is of course a beautiful hike. As soon as we turned north into the valley, Francés Glacier greeted us.

Can you see the avalanche

We managed to reach the first view point Mirador Francés, it was stunning. There was 360 views all around.

As we sat staring at the view numerous avalanches happened before our eyes and the sound of these were mind blowing. Melting ice came crashing down off cliffs like intense thunder, over and over again.

This was our first opportunity for lunch and the perfect spot to watch some action, so out came our 3 day old wraps… delicious! We didn’t have time for dessert as we still had to reach view point number two!

Onwards and upwards we went. I’m not going to lie, this was a hard hike which went up and up and up, rock climb after rock climb.

Now this hike was all my idea so I need to be careful here in case Andy reads this but never for one moment did I question my sanity and think why did I sign up for this, a holiday, really? But believe you me this terrain pushes you to the limit both physically and mentally but in a good way I suppose.

‘Adventure may hurt but monotony would kill me’.

Eventually after another hour and fifteen minutes, with the last five minutes of more intense rock climbing through bits of ice and snow we had reached the Britanico lookout which is in the middle of the ‘W’ and is unbelievably gorgeous.

It was a very strenuous hike though which as mentioned before consisted of rock scrambling, almost entirely uphill, but we had the most perfect conditions, hot with no wind, so we were pretty lucky.

Today’s whole hike had been around 20.8km/13.12 miles in total with a lot of uphill trekking and took around 6 hours but the views we witnessed made it so worth while.

After the view point we headed back towards Italiano to pitch our tent for the night. So this is a free campsite set up by the rangers….there are very little facilities here but there is a toilet in the woods and it’s a real toilet….result!

Tent was pitched and a coffee was required.

Then we had dinner to look forward to. So tonights dinner consisted pasta, chorizo, tomato sauce, fajita seasoning and parmesan cheese….and yip it still tasted amazing!

No wine tonight though so drinks will be water from the glacier!

Ow and just for the record the toilet was not a result, the ‘outside’ toilet was much more hygenic that’s all I’m saying….I was so disappointed.

Check out the woodpecker


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Theresa Skelhorn says:

    Sounds a tough trek uphill but worth the climb. To be greeted by glaciers to see avalanches I can only imagine the sounds that created it is as you say mind blowing. When you are walking in such stunning surroundings it is easier just to be focused on the beauty around you. Back home life is taken over with work etc. Love the meals you are eating they sound and look tasty. No traffic sounds only woodpeckers and the occasional sound of the fox (as long as the fox does not get to inquisitive) and doesn’t keep you awake.

    Theresa x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was very tough, the terrain doesn’t help either as it’s so hard going on the feet and legs and thighs and back lol. But your right as soon as you look around you that’s what keeps you going! When I walk I just go into my own little world and time just goes by, I like that! I think I could probably have eaten worms at the end of those treks and I would still say they tasted good! When your on the treks the silience other than natural sounds is amazing…it’s nice to get away from hussle and bussle sometimes…the fox stayed well away….we are safe! X


  2. Helena Brogan says:

    Blogs & photos coming through well now Mary. That hike looked exhausting but worth it for the views. Sad about the burned out forests. Was reading some careless tourists (not you two of course) started fires by accident..possibly would be worse in summer I suppose? They get fined by the government if they’re caught. I read that Israel actually coughed up money when an Israeli was found to have been responsible. I was wondering what that bush with the berries was. Is it one you mentioned early in your trip? The weather has turned very cold here, apparently winds coming from the Arctic💨. Love the photos of the woodpecker and caterpillar…..also your dinner looked very tasty…..might get the recipe from you!👨‍🍳 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The photos have been taking longer in Chile to be put in to blog than where we’ve been so far …possibly weaker signals here but glad they are going on! I’m not going to lie but it was a tiring hike, but sights and views make up for it! Yes it was a couple of tourists that caused the fire and when you see the damage it’s so sad, still beautiful but sad! They have ‘rules’ in campsites about where you can cook and in some you have to cook indoors which is understandable, I’m all for protection of the land! Supposedly in Chile more so than in Argentina they are very strict about their rules in the park and take it seriously! Could your winds possibly be coming from Patagonia?? Maybe it’s fate and your getting them to give you the feeling of being with us on our travels?? Lol re dinner….if we can cook that out a rucksack I’m sure you could…and honestly it was amazing! X


  3. Jane boyd says:

    Hi, stunning picture’s once again, looks like much better weather as well , clearer sky’s. Alex,David Attenborough Boyd said it’s a coyote you saw the other day, not a fox 🤣😂😆😀. Your pasta dinner and wine looked quite tasty. Lee and Lorraine enjoying your blog, the will have to tell you all about there friend in chillie and where he is from. Missing Daryl’s cocktails tonight 🤣😂😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah loads and loads of nice pictures…just so many views to be honest with you….I’m constantly at it! Weather on trek been amazing…..we have been lucky for sure! I’m sure it was a fox, big bushy tail…who knows…I was hoping for the puma to be honest with you 😁….dinners are amazing, you can’t beat eating out in style Jane! 😂….yes would be interesting to hear about that also! Corey is certainly NOT missing any of the cocktails that’s for sure!!! X


  4. Alice Reid says:

    I do like your philosophy”Adventure hurts but monotony kills”. Is that your own or are you quoting? A girl after my own heart as monotomy is just about killing me just now. I do so look forward to your blogs😄Luke has been with us this evening along with his Mum & Dad. He is off to Kenya on Tuesday so I was telling him about your Dad. Asked him to do a “blog” but he says they will be on manoeuvres most of the time. He says he might be able to send some photos if he gets the chance. Not seen any Pumas yet?A bit like us in Australia… We saw no kangaroos not even a dead one so had to visit a zoo just to say we had seen one. Scenery reminds me of Switzerland though a bit wilder and I notice a tree not unlike the one in the photo you sent from one of your Hoghland blogs. Looking forward to more of your adventures.
    Love/God Bless .
    Aunty Alice xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a quote …but it very much sums me up I think! Yes you must be going crazy with that knee if you can’t get around the same as you are used to!

      Ah that’s great re Luke…would love to visit there….I wonder if he will get the chance to fight tigers and lions like my dad 😉….we did used to believe him when he told us that! Please forward any pictures I would be keen to see and hear how he gets on…what an experience for him! A guy that came to Everest Base Camp with us last year is a vlogger and he is currently in Kenya….it looks amazing and so different!

      We have not seen any pumas so disappointed lol! You made me laugh at you having to visit a zoo to see a kangaroo in Australia, that’s so funny, but typical!

      Honestly there are times we are walking and we could be in Scotland for sure…lots of similarities! X


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