Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Sunday 4th of November

I'm no longer in Punta arenas, I've moved up in the world...northward to puerto Natalas, and have spent the last day gathering the last supplies I'll need for this trip. Hiking boots, Fuel, and food being the main items.

  I've been talking to the rangers and guides who are experienced out here. I've planned a route for myself, looking at it now it seems stupid but if I manage to get through this I feel like I will have really got out of patagonia what I came here for, to get lost and survive.

  The outdoors has been my life, my whole life. Although the last 4 years it's definitely taken a larger step forward working in the squamish valley at an outdoor education centre. i don't pretend to be an expert, more a humours fool who loves the wind and faraway places of tho planet.

The normal circuit people take is called the W circuit, and it takes you up three major valleys to see three major attractions. The Grey Glacier, the French Valley and the Torres; free and paid campsites litter the way along with the odd 5 star hotel and Refugios (a hostel that includes hot meals and costs 28,000 per night for a bed in a dorm). This particular loop has been published in many a travel guide and has become a highway like, Kilimanjaro, everest base camp, and everest itself. The W is 68km and most guiding companies recommend doing it over 5 days. None of this seemed very attractive to me. The thought of being in the wild and stumbling across people hiking in jeans, toms and hoody out the front door of their 5 star accommodations, up a road to a mirador (viewpoint) only to turn around to their fortress, sit back and watch the sun set over a glass of wine, while people cook them a three course meal, didn't appeal to me at all.

So steering away form that I managed to work some sort of path with a topo map and a compass. It's not going to be front country, Jeans and a hoody will not cut it. I plan to hike on an old ranger track which hasn't been used in nearly 6 years. then pass over on the back trail of the full circuit which reconnect with the W. This trip will cover over 178 km and I'll be aiming to complete it in 9 days with the last 2 days finishing off with the W, so I still see all the major attractions. I don't expect to see anyone on the trail for the first week of walking. I'll have to walk fast.

I leave this morning, the journey begins now.