January 20, 2006
We set off a little earlier today because, even though the trail was supposed to be flat, it would still be a long day of walking. The weather was a lot nicer: clear skies and warm sun. The sun felt great hitting my skin after having gone through a few miserable days on the circuit.
After a few hours of walking, we reached the main lookout point for Glacier Grey, which we first saw yesterday from the top of the pass. Because of the good weather, this time the view was perfect. It looked a lot like the Perito Moreno glacier, but even bigger. The ice continued all the way to the mountains that were sitting far off in the background. From where we were, the glacier looked tiny, but when I saw the little dots near it and realized that they were boats full of tourists, I knew it was huge.
As we continued on the next segment of our trek, we began seeing more and more people, and most of them were only carrying daypacks, or no backpack at all. We were back on the "W." In some ways, I was glad to be back in an area with people. In the back of the park, if we had run out of food or if any of us had gotten hurt, it could've taken a long time for someone to find us, but now we could buy food (albeit at highly inflated prices) or find help easily. On the other hand, seeing people everywhere takes away from the feeling of being in the wilderness.
According to the map, the next segment of our trek would take 3.5 hours, and for the first time, it was accurate. Usually, our pace was so fast that we beat the suggested times on the map by at least 25%, but for some reason, this time the map assumed a grueling pace. When Tony and I got to camp Pehoe, we waited waited for John for forty minutes. He had caught up with Rebeca and Jackie, the Canadians we met a few days ago, and continued with them.
Our original plan was to continue to Camp Italiano, a free site which was only two more hours away, but we were all too tired to move on at that point. Still, the campsite we were at was great with a nice view of the lake and mountains, and hot showers. I had a hot shower for the first time since leaving, and it was fantastic. It's strange how great something so simple as a hot shower can be when you're deprived of it for so long.
I think John was really mad that he had to eat such "poor quality" spaghetti yesterday. He made a soup tonight that was bigger and hotter than ever. It was so spicy, in fact, that John and Tony couldn't even finish it, and I reaped the spoils. It was obvious that I liked it because by the time I finished it, I was covered with sweat and my nose was running everywhere.
Tony is going to leave the park in two days, and John and I will most likely stay for three. Today's trek was long, but it's getting easier. Our backpacks are lighter and our spirits are up because we are in the most scenic part of the park. It's too bad it has to end so soon.
The photo album for this entry is here.