Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Friday & Saturday Feb 25-26: Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine National Park (Part 1)

Link to Map of Torres del Paine National Park
(we travelled counterclockwise from Puerto Natales on the thick red road)

Since Andria had come to town on Thursday, I ended staying in town Friday. It ended up being a good thing because it was raining and cold--a perfect day for seeing the museum. The original inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, south of here a bit, hardly wore clothes even though it was snowy. They ate so much seal fat that they had a thick enough layer of fat to stay warm.

[Photos: old elixirs, suitcases, and a phonograph]

Saturday ended up being THE BEST day to tour Torres del Paine National Park (pronounced TOR-ayse dell PIE-nay). It was the only day clear enough to see the mountaintops. I got to ride shotgun in the big tour van making it easy to see the sights. The tour was in SPANISH, but I survived just fine. The guide had a bilingual book of flora and fauna which helped even more.

[Photo: Paine Grande, the Towers, and Cuernos (horns)]

[Photo: display of traditional masks and body paint]

Zorro! Notice I caught him licking his chops after tasting some hare. Zorro is "fox" in Spanish.

[Photo: Paine Grande with snow and the towers to the right, Saramiento Lake in the foreground]

[Photo: close-up on the Towers]

[Guanaco ("gua" like guacamole, then "NAH-ko") and baby, part of llama family

[Photo: Lago Grey, Glacier Grey, and Southern Patagonian Ice Field in the background (2nd largest in the world, after Greenland)]

[Photo: A group of good-looking Chilean military also toured the park that day. We ran into them quite a few times. Oh, darn :) ]

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