Torres del Paine – Laguna Azul
The plan for my second day in Torres del Paine was to travel up to the north of the park to Laguna Azul, where there was a hike between two lakes. Having gone to sleep under an incredibly clear sky, I woke up to pouring rain so abandoned my plan for an early start and snuggled back under the giant stripes blanket until close on 10am. When I dragged myself out of the van, clad in my waterproofs, I realised that I’d managed to park in the muddiest part of the parking spot. At least the spots of pasta sauce I’d sent flying had been washed away.
By the time I’d been to the bathrooms and back it was drying off so I finally set off to Laguna Azul. My first stop was at a waterfall that was just by the side of the road, albeit down a rather steep and rough road. Somehow the tour buses made their way down there, so it didn’t stay quiet for long.
I didn’t linger long before continuing on my way but very soon had to stop again as I spotted some guanaco by the side of the road. I wasn’t the only one who stopped, and suddenly the road was flooded with Belgian tourists, all keen to creep up on the guanaco… until I had a good giggle at the tourist in the middle of the road who was so busy looking had her iPad she was oblivious to the guanaco that was creeping up on her!
The grey sky was slowly lifting during the drive and by the time I arrived at the park it was looking a little brighter and feeling quite warm and muggy.
I stopped to photograph some geese and swans, and then to chat to a couple Canadians who also had a Wicked camper van before heading off on the walk.
I didn’t go far before coming to a sign post for a viewpoint. I wasn’t convinced that this was the route I was planning, but lacking any signs for Laguna Cebolla, my official end point, I decided to following the signs instead. Given that the walk I had planned on would take a good few hours each way and I’d had a late start, I was also reconsidering my choice.
fter a 14.5 mile hike the day before my legs were feeling rather heavy as the path began to climb. There were quite good views across the lake to the towers but unfortunately they were mostly lost in the cloud, although it did clear a bit whilst I was at the summit. It was a nice enough walk, but it was a shame not to have done the walk I’d originally planned, and I think that the main highlights of the trip were the guanaco and the birds that I saw along the way.
When I got back down to the van I took a small walk down to the shore of the lake, a really nice beach, and sat and chatted with the Canadians for a little while. They kindly offered me some black beans, which I very gratefully took having only eaten crisps and nuts all day. They also had a field guide to the local wildlife and I was finally able to identify some of the birds I’d seen along the way.
It was now time to turn tail and head back the way I’d come and slowly start working my way down to the south of the park and eventually back to Puerto Natales. Of course, another guanaco stop was required on the way.