As I sit here in a coffee shop, killing time before my flight home from Buenos Aires, I am filled with memories of the last three weeks and I want to write some of them down before I forget. I want to share the little memories with you, the ones that you might other wise forget if you didn’t write them down. The little moments that might not have felt so significant but were so special that I just don’t want to let them go. Because that is the thing sometimes with travelling.. it isn’t always the biggest moments that stay with you, and that is why I want to share!
It is no secret that the purpose of this trip was really to scout and launch a trip for Run Like a Girl to be able to provide others with the same incredible experience I just lived for the last three weeks. And after launching the trip two days ago, I feel very confident that the product we have created will be a once in a life time adventure for others. Here are a few favourite moments from my experience on the O Circuit of Torres del Paine! You can now register for the adventure…CLICK HERE!
1.Waiting out the rain by a warm fire:
When we first arrived in the Torres del Paine park, it was raining. It is easy to get disenchanted by a place when the weather is bad, but if I have learned one thing from spending so much time out side… its that you can’t control the weather, but you can always control your attitude. After a few days of travel I was just grateful to be moving and outside. When the rain really started to come down, we sought of refuge at one of the lodges along the trail and warmed out wet bodies by a roaring fire. Our guide told us to just wait it out to see if the rain was going to subside… and it did. All off a sudden the rain had stopped and the sky was full of patches of blue. We immediately headed back outside and reached the base of the famous Torres and were rewarded with incredible views.
2.Arriving at camp Seron and slacking lining:
One of the coolest parts of the O circuit for me was that each camp/lodge had it’s own different vibe and the people who worked at each one made it fun and unique. At our second camp, we were in a picturesque field of daisies with rolling rills and in front and mountains behind us. In the middle of it all was a slack line, which I don’t need a lot of convincing to get on! We spent the rest of the day slack lining, making new friends and then using it to create a kind of volleyball/soccer hybrid game. It was so much fun.
3.Relaxing in the sun on the shores of Dickson lake:
If there was a favourite place for me along the O circuit, it was arriving at Dickson Lodge. This incredible peninsula jutting out into an incredibly green glacier lake. The small Dickson Lodge is full of personality and included playing cards, and various climbing holds and chin-up bars on the deck to challenge tired hikers. That afternoon with our new friends, we headed down to the shore of Dickson lake and soaked up the sun. We saw chunks of ice melting in the lake that had broken off Dickson glacier, it was a sad reminder of how real climate change is, but we all felt very lucky to be there in that moment.
4.Hiking a secluded trail to Puma Glacier:
When we arrived at Los Perros camp site, our guide told us about a trail that is rarely accessed but that it lead to an incredible glacier with views of surrounding peaks. Being one for all the adventures all the time, we definitely jumped at this opportunity! The extra 10km hike was more than worth it to experience those incredible views, especially because we literally had it all to ourselves. It was pretty magical.
5.Snow storm on John Gardner Pass:
The famous pass on the O circuit can see some pretty crazy weather…which is why you have to be prepared for everything! As we started going up the pass it started snowing, big, majestic beautiful snow flakes littered the sky and started accumulating on the mountains and trail around us. It wasn’t that cold as we were well prepared with all the layers and I just took some time to marvel at the snow around me. Our guide said it was pretty crazy to have snow up there in the summer, so we felt pretty special.
6.Reuniting with friends at Grey Lodge:
We met so many amazing people along the way of the O Circuit, but since there are a lot of options for where you camp or stay, sometimes you can get split up. We ended up getting split up from our friends at Los Perros camp site, so when we arrived at Grey Lodge and saw them sitting by the fire, were pretty excited. Celebratory beers were definitely in order since we were only 2 days away from finishing our trek and other than that freak snow storm, we had been ridiculously lucky with the weather so far! And besides.. who doesn’t like curling up on comfy couches in front of a fire after hiking all day in the snowy cold!
7.Watching sunrise pour into the French Valley
Our final day of the O circuit had us waking up before sunrise to start our trek. When we arrived in the famous Valle de Frances with Paine Grande on one side and Los Cuernos on the other side and the sun pouring in… we were in awe. It was an absolutely incredible way to end our trek. We couldn’t have been more lucky with the weather and in that moment we really took it all in.
8. My first Condor sighting:
I have travelled South America pretty extensively and up until this point, I had never seen a condor. As we were headed over a small pass with stunning views all around us, I spotted a massive bird in the sky… Eduardo and I were both beyond stoked when we realized it was a condor. The sheer size of those majestic beasts is truly something else!
Those 8 moments I just recalled were just a few of all the incredible moments we experienced on our trek. And the O circuit was just half of our experience!! For me, it was so magical to be outside in the wilderness, off the beaten track for so many days in a row. There is something fantastic about having the only thing you have to do each day is hike from one camp to another. It simplifies life for a while, it kind of slows things down. Not to mention being able to disconnect from the internet and work for a week was very much needed… I can’t wait to see you all next year!