Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Park of Pain(e)
Wednesday 22th November
We're off to the Torres del Paine national park but caught out with a very expensive lunch at the Chile border. We also had to pay 15 GBP to get into the par- ouch, Chile is very expensive after being in Argentina and to make matters worse, the park office had run out of maps. There is a paying campsite for about 3.50GBPs but after all that, we planned to use the free campsite which is located at the far west of the park.

Bertie and Torres


Oh for a proper zoom lens

So after taking a look at the waterfall and taking in some of the nice scenery, the road to the free site turned out to have some roadworks going on. When I say roadworks, at home this road would have been closed but here (after having to spend a fortune to get in remember) the road was basically soil with cars and busses sliding back down the hill with little or no control, entertaining to watch but not when you have to get two heavily laden bikes up this hill. After laughing at this for a bit, it was our turn. My new knobbly tyres turned out to quite enjoy this bit but my clutch has still to forgive me given the burning smell coming off it at the top of the hill.

A little bit slidey

This park is really big by the way so it took quite a while to get to the turn off we needed, and of course the weather decided it had been too dry and it started to piss it down and the gravel road got incredibly lumpy, not great riding conditions. Add to this we had then to walk for half an hour with our camping stuff once the road ran out and you'll get an idea of our moods at this point. Anyway, at least we got a chance to wear our ponchos for the first time and there was no one around to laugh.

After walking for an eternity (ok, about 35mins), we came across the area marked out for the free camping and lo and behold, there was what we would call a bothy at home and luxury of luxuries, a pit toilet. Boy, were we in for a treat tonight. We actually ended up setting our tent up inside the bothy and also cooking there so it turned out pretty well in the end and at least we got to stay dry, and all for just 15 pounds.

Our house witha tent inside

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