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Torres del Paine and Punta Arenas   1 | 2 | 3 | 4 

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Note: For more information on these pictures, see the story of our painful hiking trip to Torres del Paine.

Toward the Park — At the deep southern part of Chile (excluding the part that's really below Argentina), we embark out of Puerto Natales for a three-hour ride to Torres del Paine National Park. Along the way, we pass by a few brilliantly blue lakes, where fierce winds and whitecaps are not at all uncommon.
Sheep Herding — A farmer and his dogs herd several dozen sheep and one alpaca (disguised as a sheep).
Milodon — Another brief stop along the way at Cavo del Milodon, the only archaeological site to contain nearly-complete remains of an ancient milodon, an extinct plant-eating bear-like animal. Science turned out to be uninterested, though, so they just stuffed all the bones into a giant plaster model and stuck it in front of the cave for tourists, where the real money is.
Hosteria and Mt. Almirante Nieto — In the foreground, one of the only accommodations within 90 miles that has a roof and accordingly costing us about five million dollars (not pesos) a night. Behind it, the 2200-meter mountain that inconsiderately stands between us and the Torres del Paine, towers of blue.
We're Doing What?! — Keith wonders if maybe there's been a mistake...surely we aren't meant to climb over that!
Mt. Almirante Nieto — Heading over the side of Almirante Nieto toward the towers; the sun makes the snow-capped peak stand out. We wonder how the hell we're ever going to get up this thing...
Walk This Way — ...then thankfully realize we don't have to. This is the right direction. But no, we don't have to climb these ragged cliffs either — just go around them.
Because It's There? — We must be insane. We just climbed from that river all the way up here, only to climb down again, and back up again later, even more. Where's a helicopter when you need one?!

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Last updated: 19 May 2002 21:05:34