Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Milodon Cave and the trip to Torres del Paine

Entrance to Milodon Cave

From El Calafate we were going to Torres del Paine, which thankfully had reopened earlier than originally announced.  We had arranged the trip through a tour company, so we were taken by taxi to the bus station and given tickets for the bus to Puerto Natales.  Aside from a short delay on the bus, this all went well, but when we got to Puerto Natales the promised collection wasn't there.  Half and hour and a few confused phone calls later, we were promised we would be collected soon, and sure enough they turned up and took us off to lunch.  Having been to a couple of good places to eat here, we were vaguely hoping for one of those, but in fact the place they took us was also very good.
Milodon Cave
After lunch we joined four other people for the drive to Torres del Paine.  But first we all made a stop at the Milodon Cave.  So if you've been paying attention then you will recall this odd part bear part anteater looking thing that I mentioned in Puerto Natales.  Well it is actually a Milodon, or Giant Sloth. Or rather it was.  This huge creature was around four metres long on all fours or a bit over three metres when it stood on its hind legs.
Milodon replica

Milodon Cave

It is believed to have died out around nine thousand years ago, when they think the changing environment meant that it could no longer get enough nutrients in its herbivorous diet.  The fossilised remains of one of them were found in the cave here some hundred years ago, although this 98 foot high and 262 foot wide home is now empty as the Milodon remains are, typically, in London.  They have though have built a replica of it guarding its entrance, which Nic of course wanted a picture with.

From the cave, we continued on to Torres del Paine National Park and to the Eco Camp that was to be our home for the next six nights.

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