Torres del Paine – Lago Gray
Before leaving the park I had one last hike planned, at Lago Grey. I had originally thought to do a couple more short walks that day but when I checked my calendar before going to bed the previous right I discovered to my surprise that my flight out of Punta Arenas was not in the early afternoon as I had thought, but at 11am, meaning that I was going to be very short of time to get the van dropped off in the morning before heading to the airport. My initial plan was to park up and sleep somewhere of Ruta 9 for the last night, but I realised that I was going to need to be in Punta Arenas on Friday night and so I needed to get a move on!
Despite being under time pressure I wasn’t going to compromise on stopping to take photos and my first opportunity came when I saw a couple of hares by the side of the road. The resulting photos weren’t great, but at least they show very clear evidence of running away hare!
Not much further along and the landscape changed to being more open and flat. Having just started to speed up again after some roadworks I crossed a bridge and then spotted a fox to the side of the road, so of course that meant another stop!
The next distraction was a rainbow over some distant hills.
Finally, I made it down to Lago Gray, where you can take a boat tour up to see the big glacier at the head of the lake. I was lucky to get there before all the tour buses turned up, when I returned back to the van at the end of the walk there were queues on both sides of the bridge over the river due to the 6 person limit.
Unlike all the other walks I did in Torres del Paine this one was a circular route (or rather, lollipop), but I didn’t know this until near the end when I could see the beach reappearing around the corner.
Having reached the official viewpoint, the walk continued around the coast and I spotted this amazing little iceberg that had calved off from the glacier. I hadn’t really known what to expect from this walk and had wondered if I was making a mistake taking the time for a hike when I still had over 300km to drive but I really enjoyed it and the varied views of the lake.