Saturday, January 08, 2005

Chilean Beauty

It's been some time since my last post because we have just spent the past 5 days in Chile's Torres del Paine national park. It is a must see for travelers coming down to Patagonia. Apart from the impressive towers of granite (that give the park its name) that jut into the sky like cracked fingers (although they would have been more impressive if they weren't surrounded by clouds when we hiked up to them) there are the cuernos (horns): mountains produced by an extrusion of light-coloured granite through a layer of darker rock, making them look like the worlds biggest sandwich. There are also a few glaciers and more secluded lakes than you can shake a hiking stick at. I spent 4 days doing various hikes around the park, and on the last one I didn't see a single soul for the whole 8 hours I was walking (probably because I got lost, took a wrong turning and ended up miles away from the lake I was planning to visit!) and arrived at a crystal clear lake that must have been a shallow, tropical sea many millions of years ago because it was surrounded by fossilised coral reefs. I could go on but my words would be totally inadequate for the beautiful landscapes, so instead I have trawled the web and recommend you have a look at the picture below of the cuernos, a view I was lucky enough to wake up to every morning there.

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