Down in the bottom tip of South America lies a beautiful, untouched wilderness that is worth the extra effort to find. I booked a birthday trip to Chile to trek the famous W trek and get lost for a few days. I knew I was in for something extra special, as upon arrival after an unexpected travel delay, I was surprised with a MASSIVE chocolate cake the local owner made just for me & a HUGE knife sticking out of the top for that WOW factor!
It wasn’t easy, as I had to fly into Santiago then catch a bus for a few hours on the “road to the end of the world”. Our home base was the quaint, coastal town of Puentas Arenas. It seemed semi-insane to be camping in close to 0 degrees weather with the wind howling, but the special tents and sleeping bags were actually quite toasty.
The day we were to trek to the elusive 3 spires that this area is known for, the weather was sleeting & the fog was thick so we had to forego this treasured spot. You win some and lose others.
I even think I broke 2 poles along the way, having gotten stuck in the mud so many times that I lost count. Our ultimate goal was to see the glaciers that were abundant this far down from the equator and sadly all receding at alarming rates every year due to global warming. Small icebergs bobbed everywhere. The glaciers & “bergs” were fascinating and my new obsession, just as impactful as sunsets and waterfalls.
I vividly remember the aqua blue water of the glacial lakes sparkling beneath the snow capped mountain tops. Breathtaking. And we had some fierce sunsets peeking out from behind the hills. I also will never forget pitching our tents at the base of the mountain we had just traversed and thinking “who really gets to do this & have seen this magnificent slice of nature?” We ended our multi day trek with a boat ride across the channel and the peaks reflecting back to us. What a wild ride and tremendous sense of accomplishment.
I stayed 2 extra days after the group left to take in the local culture, but I believe I was so exhausted on the first day that I slept for almost 20 hrs straight. I do remember this was during my running craze & being on the tail end of my trip, I only had shorts left that were clean. So I was the crazy blonde haired American traipsing along the shoreline in 2 degrees weather (I couldn’t feel my legs for days after) trying to catch the cargo ships that were constantly leaving port to head towards the untamed continent of Antarctica. I also squeezed in a ferry ride to see the ice caves and more glaciers, which was the perfect wind down to close out this tremendous experience. 🇨🇱
And had a new destination (continent) to add to my ever growing bucket list…….