We awoke in Torres Central campsite to the sound of the morning chattering parakeets back at work on the food hunt. This was going to be an easy day for us since we didn’t have too far to travel up to the Chileno campsite. Taking our time, we got up and walked over to the Welcome center for coffee and donuts! We also loaded up on a sandwich to split for lunch and a big bag of these veggie root chips. After packing up camp we are headed back towards the Hotel Las Torres, which we’d pass along today’s route up the valley.
On the trail there, we were commenting on how light we felt, how accomplished we already were from everything we had already tackled, and how excited we were for the last two days to see the iconic Towers. This experience has been so different and more amazing than anything else we’d ever done before.
Hotel Las Torres is a pretty grand and sprawling place with multiple buildings joined together from the main lobby area. They house multiple barns on the property with livestock and horses. There are also greenhouses where they grow vegetables for the farm to table restaurant. If you want luxury at the end of the world, this was it. We stopped in to look around and cozy up to the lobby bar for a beer. Little did we know that they have a little “nano brewery” onsite that makes just one beer – a hoppy pale ale that is made with endemic hops that they grow in the greenhouses! Maybe it was partially the excitement and hype of the moment, but we thought it was spectacular.
We left the Hotel on a high note and with a little buzz rolling, we headed back up the mountain. After passing the point where the trails converge, we were passed again by the horses that were carrying supplies up the mountain to the campsite. Before you get to Chileno you must go through the Windy Pass. Its not visible until right at the top of the canyon crux.
There was a cool lookout point that I told Gabrielle to run up ahead so I could take her picture. Unfortunately, it was closed off, most likely for restoration purposes.
It began to drizzle near the end of our hike, but the views did not disappoint!
We made it to the Chileno campsite, halfway up the valley to the Torres (towers), with lots of time to spare so we looked around for a bit and then set up our tent on our platform which was VERY high up off the ground on one side!
After some showers, it was time to feast. We could not use our camp stove at Chileno because of the high winds restricting open flame/high fire danger, so we had to buy tickets to the dinner in the lodge. It worked out well, though, because we had wanted to try at least one of the refugio’s paid meals, so how fitting for our last night in the park! The night’s special was a scrumptious salmon platter with salad, grilled veggies and a creamy lemon polenta that went perfectly with the salmon…Yum! We made friends with some other Americans and shared some steins of the Torres del Paine Helles Bock beer from Cereveza Austral that we had come to love so much. Its label is a picture of the Towers so, I mean…you gotta drink that beer when you’re in the closest campsite to the towers and you can SEE them dominating the horizon from your seat in the dining room.
Everything was eaten and they wouldn’t give us seconds even with Gabrielle asking nicely for more multiple times! The server just kept laughing and telling us there was only so much for everyone. It was amazing though and we retired to our tent very satisfied. The alarm was going to come early for our sunrise hike to the Towers and we slept like two fatted pigs.