Entry #14

Magnificent.

If you only get to one national park in your life...go to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. If you get to a second national park make it Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. As you can see from the pictures it is spectacular.

Now it has been said many times that pictures don't capture the grandeur of this place, so I thought I would play a little game with you to give you some perspective on the size and scope of the towers in the photos.

You'll need 11 pieces of 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper.

Take the first one and place it on the floor. That represents the Prudential Building in Boston (or the Hancock if you prefer...both are roughly the same height). Those of you that live in Boston know how these two buildings dominate the skyline, as they are the tallest buildings in Boston at 550 feet.

Next to that piece of paper on the floor stack the other 10 pieces end to end...That represents the size of the towers from the lake to the top...over 5,400 feet! That is longer than a mile! It is pretty amazing to see a tower rise from the ground with almost sheer cliffs on all sides.

In addition to that I saw massive icebergs floating in a lake that had fallen off of a glacier. There are about 50 photos of that.

We had wonderful weather (35 degrees at night and 60 during the day)...which is rare for the area, so the 45 mile hike went without a hitch. Well, except for my travel companion...

The most expensive omelet in the world: The Jacq Lewis special.

So as you may have read in one of the other updates, Jacq was going to join me for the trek through the park, but her flight from Boston was delayed due to the hurricanes in Florida. When I called the Argentinean airline we were flying I was told that to change our tickets the price would be an extra $132 for each ticket. When we arrived to the airport, Jacq and I went to the counter and had two different agents helping us. I was first and the girl behind the counter was only going to charge me $60 to change the flight. But Jacq's agent was going to change hers for $107, so Jacq said, "Wait, why is his only $60?" The two agents conspired and made up some excuse and raised my price up to $107. Thanks Jacq. But at least we were in first class and had an omelet for breakfast...a $47 omelet!

Oh, but the stories with Jacq don't end there. The trail is a one way trek and on the first day she forgot her Jacket at the cabin we stayed at...unfortunately she didn't remember it until we had trekked for 4 hours with a 35 pound packs on our backs.
There were several other instances where it looked like we would get a discount because someone did their math wrong, but Jacq was quick to point out the mathematical error and made sure we paid full price. It stinks (and is expensive) to travel with someone that has such a strong moral compass!

Random trivia question: Where does the term OK come from?

According to a German couple we met on the trail, the first quality control person on the Ford Model T line was named Oscar Knudsen. So every time he inspected a car he signed his initials "OK" on the car...and thus we have the term "OK." ( I think the Germans have been getting thier info from unreliable sources)

We also discovered some of the culinary treats of Chile.

The national condiment: mayonnaise...they put it on everything ...this is no lie. We went to one restaurant where it was on every item on the menu except for the national sandwich, which is... Ham and Cheese. It is often the only choice of sandwich and in the park is the only choice for breakfast or lunch. I hope the food is better on Easter Island...if the aliens don’t abduct me while I'm there.

 

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