We planned this day to be a short day, 2 mile walk from Campsite Frances to Los Cuernos Refugio. Since there was time to spare, we took our time getting up and ready in the morning and waited for everyone else to be on their way so we could actually have space to cook breakfast in the tiny kitchen area! We packed up and took some last pictures from the bathroom/kitchen area and set out for a nice afternoon stroll.
Our path ran along the big lake (Lago Nordenskjöld) most of the day up and down the terrain of the foothills. There were great examples of Lenga and Ñire trees everywhere and David pressed some leaves in his journal.
As we traipsed along the way we could still hear the occasional small avalanche behind us as Paine Grande and the glaciers of the Frances Valley melted in the sun.
Rounding new corners brought sights of new waterfalls flowing from way up high to trickling over the trail in front of us.
We took a nice long break for lunch sitting by the lake on a beach of rocks. Tranquility at its finest.
As we arrived to Los Cuernos refugio/campsite, the sun popped out and lit up the mountains!
This campsite was named after the iconic rock formations under which it is situated, Los Cuernos. Literally translated, it means “the horns,” which they resemble. The O trek of Torres del Paine is a circle trek, so you end up back where you started if you walk long enough. The area of land around which the O trek makes a ring is called the Paine Massif. It is a cluster of mountains, granite towers, and spectacular rock formations. Most any image of the Paine Massif features Los Cuernos front and center, as it is an unmistakable image of “the horns of Patagonia.”
See all the photos here: