Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile

It was decision time. Were we going to do the notorious 9 day trek in Torres Del Paine (TDP) National Park; or not? This had always been on our ‘to-do’ list and I would go as far as saying that it sat comfortably on Max’s bucket list of things to do before he died! However, we had spoken to a lot of travellers on this trip and although no one had regrets about doing TDP, they warned us that it had become overcrowded to the point where you had to queue to ascend the remaining steps that enable you to get up close with the notorious spiky peaks that make up Torres Del Paine.  Did we really want to travel 5 hours back into Chile? To add to this, my knee was still giving me a lot of grief, Maxs walking boots had given in and the buses were full for 3 days. Unbelievable really considering this was the beginning of March, which is very much the shoulder season. Patagonia was well and truly testing us. Not to mention the cost of everything. Patagonia is one of the most expensive places to travel in South America, El Calafate particularly . I think we just wanted to ‘sit still’ for a moment, to stop hemoraging money and live the Patagonian dream whilst not racing through our savings; this is exactly what we would do at the Estancia and we could have been picked up on that day and started work at the farm.

However, fate came into play. The next day whilst still debating what we should do, we bumped into some french cyclists who we had met on the Carretera Austral. They had just booked their bus tickets for TDP and told us that one company had added a bus for that day at 4pm. So that was it, a sign.

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Huerquehue National Park & Chiloé

After munching my way through that delicious mushy sandwich I quickly passed out. Through a haze of semi-consciousness I realised our bus had pulled over into a service station and thought maybe the driver needed to stretch his legs. I dozed back off and woke up 30 minutes later to find Max not by my side but walking towards me saying, “You’ll never guess what? We have broken down!”.

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Wine Town and City Scenes: Mendoza & Santiago

The 17 hour long bus journey was remarkably pleasant. We bought “semi-cama” tickets which means your big leather chair reclines and is nearly as comfortable as a bed. We were served an edible dinner (I’m learning not to be picky) within an hour or two and then breakfast in the morning. It’s just like being on an aeroplane but more roomy.

Once in Mendoza, our friends picked us up and we dropped our bags at the house before going to explore the town centre.

Mendoza is a pretty town with lots of green well decorated plazas, restaurants and cool bars.

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