A “shit” time at Torres Del Paine!

22 Feb

The photo below is the famed Torres Del Paine photo that every tourist like myself is after (I hope I’m not breaking any copyright laws, but this pic I took from http://www.cornforthimages.com). It is like Machu Pichu, everyone wants the photo with the bragging rights.

Some people get that photo by doing the 4-5 day “W” trek, some the 8 day circuit or some the day hike, or some just get it off the internet and save themselves a lot of money – it’s bloody expensive here in Chile, prices are more like New Zealand than South America.

Of course I wanted that photo as well and so did everything in my power to get it, but some greater force had different ideas for my Torres Del Paine photo. Check the video out below, it’s of me getting up at 4.30 am, basically you get a good view up my nostrils and I continually rub my beard.

I set my alarm for 4.30am and was welcomed by wind and light snow outside my tent. But the locals say that even if it’s snowing you still have to go to the towers as the Patagonian weather is so unpredictable that within an hour you could be experiencing the most breath-taking Torres Del Paine sunrise.

My “W” hiking buddies on their way past in the early morning shook my tent to make sure I was up, I shouted back to say I would meet them up there. I put on my hiking clothes and stuffed my sleeping mat, sleeping bag and dry clothes in my pack. I exited my tent like cocoon to the darkness outside to start the 45 minute hike up to the look out.

I decided to follow some rat tracks and take a short cut up through the back of the camp ground onto the lookout trail. As I clambered over bush and between branches it wasn’t long before the unmistakable smell of human faecal matter started following me. The photo below I took after the sunrise shows that unbeknown to me I had actually entered a human poo mine field (that’s toilet paper)!

My first reflex, I point my head lamp in a downward direction to inspect where the smell is coming from, only to be disgusted by a distinctly coloured brown smear down the left inner calf of my pants. My second reflex with my 4.30am brain was to wipe it off, so with my right shoe I scrap it off! Yep, real bright idea Hap, you guessed it, the brown smear just got bigger!

The sole of right shoe and my inner left calf now made me look like I had been hiking through mud……………..human mud. In a frantic attempt to rid myself of the smell and dislodge as much of the poo matter as possible I got on all fours and like a dog that has had his hind legs clipped by a passing car I started dragging my left inner calf along the dirt and shrubs.

Despite my “shit” situation I had a photo to take and so the show had to go on!

I made it to the look-out where my “W” crew had already set-up camp ready for the photo. Much to their disgusted amusement I tell them of my unfortunate morning and changed my pants and hop into my sleeping bag to wait for the sun.

But it looked as though my shit situation was going to get shittier………………………..or was it better. As you can see from the photos there was a distinct lack of sun. But we all took great amusement in how stupid our situation was, here we all were, freezing sitting in a snow storm waiting for a sun rise! Haha.

We all sat there laughing, drinking hot tea which Julia kindly made for us as she had lost cards the day before.

I didn’t get the photo of the famed towers, but the photo below to me is even better (usually the rock pillars tower in the background of the below photo). Good memorable times.

Then we made our way back down the snow covered trail, to break down camp and move on. For my “W” buddies it marked their final day and for me it marked my half way point with the back of the circuit waiting for me…………………………………….more on this in the coming post.


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