Road Trip - Day 7

50.9423° S, 73.4068° W

Before we had even arrived at the park, the scenery began to change from flat landscapes to mountains met by bright turquoise lakes. We stopped by one lake for a quick toilet brake, but soon realised that it was surrounded by perfect skimming stones, which meant only one thing...A skimming competition. Rock skimming had become a thing back in Bariloche, with me and Reanne absolutely killing it with our perfect skims and outstanding technique. Where as Mandi and Jordan just basically sucked ass and were generally shit. This is also totally not true. Me and Reanna could not skim stones for love nor money and so the competition was handed over to the professionals. The categories came under how many bounces and the longest distance, and things became pretty intense when the pressure was put on. However Jord won in distance and Mandi in bounces, so both had the title of Patagonia's undefeated skimming champion. 
As we arrived at the park entrance we grabbed some maps and paid up (18,000 p/p) then drove along the dirt track to our first point of interest, Glacier Grey. Before we even got to the Glacier all of us became snap happy and were going crazy over the mountains that make up Torres del Paine. I mean they are pretty spectacular, so if you didn't find them incredible I'd be kind of worried. As glimpses of the glacier started to appear everyone became very excited, so we parked the car and started the trail. When I say trail its more like a stroll along the beach to the shore of where Glacier Grey is and where the giant icebergs that have fallen off. You can do a much longer trek that goes right up to the glacier and follows it round but this is part of the 'W' trek and we just didn't have enough time. 
Night time was beginning to close in, so we stopped at pehoe camp site as it was the closest. It also turned out to be the most expensive, costing 10,000 CLP PER PERSON!!! Are you fucking mental, that would pay for a night in a 4* hotel in the city, and you want me to pay that to camp. No thanks.
The next campsite was over an hour away, so plan B was to leave the park and set up camp by Laguna Amarga, just outside the park borders then re enter tomorrow. Again another perfect example of how things just don't go to plan for us because obviously the road we needed would be closed. As I spoke to one of the park rangers about other options, she told us there was a campsite where the Hotel Las Torres is and because it was so late we could probably pitch up and no one would notice so it would be free. Nice one. 


We followed her advice and began set up in the camp area, however Mandi is very fussy when it comes to the ground being flat so spent 15 minutes figuring out what flatness would be best for her to get a good nights sleep. Not gunna lie Mandi, the whole area was pretty flat! With the tent up, the wine open and dinner on the go, we were in for a perfect night.


That was of course until a guy who worked on the camp site showed up asking us if we had paid. Now, I know it was the wrong thing to do but the other ranger had told us we would camp for free, so when he asked if we had paid, the first thing that came out my mouth was yes. We all know I will try and blag my way out of any given situation and who wouldn't try when you have to pay per person and not per tent. It was when he asked for the ticket, this should have been the point I should of probably told him we hadn't paid. But no, I walked to the car and pretended to look for a non existent ticket. When I came back and told him it was lost he started asking us loads of questions, like where we bought it, who we got it from, when we got it. Everything got a bit too much, so I just started randomly pointing in different directions and stringing mumbled words together. He seemed very confused and told us he would go and double check with his colleague. Shit now I'd really put my foot in it. We decided that when he came back we would just say that we had lied and it would all be fine and we could just pay then. I would of probably carried on trying to bullshit my way out of it. Luckily Mandi did all the talking, and although he was pissed off we made him walk around looking for a fake ticket he took our money and left with a smile of his face.


 8,000 CPS per person down and a lovely sticker on the tent to show for it, we carried on the evening as planned. After dinner was over and the wine was coming to an end we decided to hit the sack before a day of trekking the Torres del Paines wonders. This was about 10 minutes before 3 Americans turned up and pitched their tent up for FREE. Trust that to happen.

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patagonia road trip day 7