On my third day I had in mind a relaxing morning of not doing very much, followed by a gaucho-prepared lunch of Patagonia lamb at an estancia owned by Explora and a nice walk to take pictures of the local wild llamas (guanacos - bigger and more camel like). This was not to be. The night before, after coming back from our very long but fulfilling hike to the base of the towers, I heard rumors that a hike was being organized to the elusive and very far away Campamento Británico.
You have to understand people come to the Torres del Paine park to hike the 'W'. It's a trail shaped, well, like a W, that runs on the east side up to a glacier, comes back down and up the middle of the Torres to another glacier and then back down again and up the west side to the base of the towers. Most people when hiking the middle will only go so far as about half way up that leg, because to get to the very end, or the Campamento Británico lookout, you have to do a very healthy 30km hike. That is what I decided to sign up for instead of grilled Patagonian lamb and guanacos.
My companions and I set out before light across the lake to rejoin the beginning of the trail. We were a small group of 5, including our guide and a member of staff who wanted to join, and I'm very glad I chose to keep walking long distances up mountains for one more day. We saw the sun change the colour of the mountains as we hiked, and rise up above the towers just as we reached the mid-point. It was another prefect day and it turned into one of the most rewarding and special hikes I've ever been on. We made it home for a boat ride back in time to see the sun starting to set behind the mountains we'd just hiked.
Loved it. And I promise no more hiking pictures for a while.