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.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Viewpoints, wildlife and the Grey Glacier

Torres del Paine national park

On the last full day, the easy option was so easy that even I decided to get off my butt and go with them.  And as Nic had already done a similar walk to the challenging option, and was still coping with his blisters, he stuck to this one too.



 We left at a civilised 10:30am and drove around the park, stopping at various different viewpoints along the way.  Obviously the views weren't as good as those that you got if you walked closer to the peaks, but they were still impressive and much less effort. 

As we walked up to one of the lookouts, we passed by a set of Guanaco bones, which had presumably been a puma kill and then picked clean by the various smaller animals and scavengers in the park.  Once at the viewpoint we got some good condor sightings as well as the views of the mountains.
Patagonian fox eating another fox

We also saw rhea, live guanacos and a Patagonian fox.  The fox had found the remnants of a puma kill, which looked like another fox, and was happily if slightly warily, eating while we watched.

Salto Grande waterfall

We stopped off at the Salto Grande Waterfall.  The walk up to this was incredibly windy, and it was actually quite an effort to stay on your feet at times.  You could quite see how it was that the wind carried the fire so effectively.  And we saw plenty of evidence of the fire during our drive, but I am posting on that separately.

Torres del Paine national park

After stopping off to eat our lunch we headed for the Grey Lake.  Here we took a short walk down to the beach and got into a zodiac to reach the ferry that was going to take us around the lake and to the edge of the Grey Glacier.

Torres del Paine national park

The ferry was back on its normal duties now after having been pressed into action rescuing people who had been stranded by the fire.  The captain had only had about three sleep a night for three days as he made multiple journeys carrying firefighters out to try to control the fire and collecting walkers and staff whose route back was cut off.

Grey Glacier

And all this trying to land the boat on a rocky shoreline, with no piers, in very high winds creating huge waves on the lake.  Thankfully by this time he had caught up on his sleep and wasn't having to cope with such difficult conditions. 
Grey Glacier

The trip across the lake was best done from inside the boat.  The waves were fairly strong, and even going slowly, the icy cold water splashed up over the front of the boat.  When we got to the glacier itself, the water was calmer, so we ventured out into the cold to look at the glacier and take our photos.

Nic at the Grey Glacier


There was a free drink included in the trip, I think solely for the novelty of serving the drink with ice from the glacier.  Not that we needed any extra ice by this time.

The glacier was nice enough, but having recently seen the Perito Moreno, we decided to head back into the comparative warmth of the cabin after a while, and look at the rest through the window.
Grey Glacier

We were nearly driven back out again by a rather noisy, grizzly and irritating child, and a number of us agreed that we were sorely tempted to throw him overboard.  We just about resisted, but I think we all had our fingers crossed that he would fall in when he started moving around early on the zodiac on the way back!

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