January 18, 2006
This was our toughest day so far. We started out with a six-hour walk to Camp Dixon. Toward the beginning, the trail wasn't very well-marked, it was raining, and the path was muddy. There were no bridges across any rivers, so several times we had to navigate our way around them by walking up and down stream until they got narrow enough to cross. After crossing one of the rivers, we couldn't find the trail. We spent nearly half an hour looking for a marker indicating where the trail was. Finally, we saw where the path continued up a huge hill in the distance and were able to continue.
The entire day, we traversed the scenic, yet dreary terrain before arriving at Dixon, a beautiful camp located on a peninsula of one of the many lakes in the park. We only had time to eat a quick lunch, however, because we had to move on to Camp Los Perros, which was four hours away, if we wanted to stay on schedule.
The last four hours sucked. All of us ran low on energy and the trail became super muddy. My shoes were water-logged, and the bottoms of my pant legs were filthy. I wished I had bought waterproof shoes as I sloshed through the swamp.
At the end of the day, we saw Glacier Los Perros' water run off into a lake that was full of huge ice chunks that had slid down the mountain. It was another beautiful sight, but it was rainy, windy, cold, and I was exhausted, so I couldn't get any good pictures of it.
Finally, we got to camp at 8:00. John cooked another amazing soup for us. The camp had a warm shelter for us to relax in. We met two Canadian girls named Rebeca and Jackie there. They only had three weeks to spend in Chile, but were doing the whole Torres del Paine circuit anyway. Once again we went to bed early with the most difficult part of the trail still ahead of us: a bad-ass pass between two mountains that would take six hours to complete.
The photo album for this entry is here.