Date: Monday, March 21st, 2005
Time: 23:00 pm
Location: Punta Arenas
Temperature: 14°C 57°F
Wind speed: 12 mph 10.4 knots
Wind chill: 12°C 54°F
Altitude: 1.5 m
Weather: Bright and wet
The Torres Del Paine became a National Park in 1975 and was recognized by the United Nations as a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978. It is internationally recognized as one of the most beautiful and unique places on the planet. Its position at the southern tip of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field results in numerous rivers, lagoons, and lakes formed by runoff from the ice field’s many glaciers, of which, one of the most spectacular is Grey Glacier. The name “Paine” (pronounced “pie-nee”) comes from a Tehuelche Indian word meaning blue. The “Torres” are named after three spectacular granite peaks, the highest reaching 2900m, which form part of the Cordillera Paine mountain range.
After spending several days hiking through the park and studying its glaciers, we saw several promising sites that we may attempt to access during future trips to the area. We will have to obtain and study recent high-resolution satellite imagery in order to determine which of these sites is the best.
Upon returning to Punta Arenas, we began preparing ourselves for the journey home. We dried out our tents and then unpacked and re-packed all our bags one last time to make sure that we were not carrying any fuel, food, or matches. In the evening we all went out for our last Chilean meal, I ordered Congrio a la Plancha con Arroz (oven baked conger eel with rice) and it was absolutely delicious! Tomorrow we will catch our plane in the morning and then travel for two days before getting back home to Maine. Lets hope that all our luggage makes it this time.
When we get back to Maine, we plan to visit the classes that have been following us on our adventure; there will probably be many questions to answer. We look forward to answering all the questions and showing the many beautiful photos that we have taken along the way.