Lago Pehoe, Torres del Paine - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

January 19, 2023 to January 20, 2023

Lago Pehoe, Torres del Paine

Thursday 19th January 2023

A few vehicles passed by the shelter soon after six this morning so we packed up the tent just in case we were preventing anyone else from stopping there.

The road climbed and dipped along the northern shore of Lago Sarmiento until the park entrance seven kilometers from the shelter.   It was initially paved but changed to ripio once we entered the park.  The undulating nature continued and we took our time to enjoy the magnificent views on offer.

Entering the park. Bad ripio but great views.
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Due our chosen route, this is the best view we got of the towers.
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The sad sight of a dying glacier. I wonder how much longer this one will survive global warming. I report I read recently noted that keeping temperature increases to less than 2.5 degrees will result in ONLY fifty percent of all glaciers disappearing.
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More views of the towers.
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Towers, cones and me.
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Some nice reflections in various lakes along the way.
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There was no wind of which to speak and it was surprisingly warm.  By the time we arrived at the turnoff to the Salto Grande, where we had planned to go on a short hike, we had changed our minds and kept on going to the campsite at Lago Pehoe.  We now plan to cycle back there early tomorrow morning.

We have a nice shelter at the campsite.   A few other cycle tourists we have met along the way are also here, including Ken and Allan, the oldest apart from us.  Ken is a lot older- seventy eight years and a big inspiration.

Friday 20th January 2023

We managed to get an early start this morning and after cycling eight kilometers back to Salto Grande we walked the five kilometers to El Mirador los Cuernos which provides close up views of the three cones. 

Salto Grande, a waterfall over which up to a hundred cubic meters of water flows each second.
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Salto Grande. The walk to the Mirador los Cuerdos starts here.
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Reflections on the way to the mirador.
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View of the cones from the mirador.
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Bill ShaneyfeltMight be Chilean fire tree
https://xeraplants.com/plants/embothrium-coccineum/
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1 week ago

Ken and Allan had popped into the expensive Hosteria Pehoe yesterday for a cup of coffee and the chance of some internet access.  We can't afford another expensive hotel stay but it does make a nice photograph looking back towards the cones with Lago Pehoe as a canvas.

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After the hike back to the parking lot and cycling back to the campsite we had a lazy afternoon.  We are feeling pretty tired,  as are most of the other cyclists here, and I even had a short nap.

The weather has been warm and windless,  quite unlike anything we expected from Torres del Paine which has a reputation fir fierce winds and icy temperatures.   One of glaciers,  hidden from our view, was heard calving constantly while on our hike this morning, sounding like explosive bring detonated.

The restaurant at Camping Pehoe is ridiculously overpriced and understocked.  All that is available are some factory made empanadas and lots of sweet biscuits and chocolates.  Beers cost five thousand pesos and the empanadas ten thousand.  Food has become a bit of a problem for us and the other cyclists.

Nonetheless, the views here are magnificent and it is difficult to stop taking pictures as the light changes.

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The animals and birds in the campsite seem quite habituated to the presence of humans.   A Large Hairy Armadillo strolled unconcerned past me yesterday and a Culpeo Fox has been patrolling- a Dutch couple of cyclists lost all their food to the pesky thing and gave had to resort to buying pot noodles from the overpriced shop at reception. 

Tufted Tit-Tyrant (Anairetes parulus).
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Large Hairy Armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus).
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Culpeo Fox (Lycalopex culpaeus). Not really a fox at all. More closely related to wolves.
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With us running low on food we will head towards Puerto Natales tomorrow, probably wildcamping somewhere along the way because we think that the rough ripio and steepish climbs we will most likely encounter for much of the way will make a three figure ride a bit too much for us.

Today's ride: 47 km (29 miles)
Total: 5,791 km (3,596 miles)

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