Didem Doğan

Torres del Paine: a last look at the Nordenskjold Lake

When I was looking at the Nordenskjold Lake for the last time I knew that it was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my life. The lake takes its name from the Swedish geographer Nordenskjold, who did not only come here to Patagonia but also spent two years in Antarctica. The Torres del Paine National Park is open to public for about sixty years. It is cited as the eight wonder of the world. If you are not in Chile and you are traveling from Argentina, you will need to make a four hour drive from el Calafate, taking the famous Route 40 road, cross the border, first the Argentinian side than the Chilean side (you cannot take any fruit, vegetable or animal food to Chile) and if you’re making a day trip like me you will need to cross again the two borders on your way back to El Calafate. From Chile, you can reach there from Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales. The three granite mountains inside the park have become the symbol of this natural wonder and during your visit to the park there are several watch points where you see them. You can both take an organised tour to the park and visit it for a day or stay and camp inside the park (the entrance ticket which costs UDS 35 use is valid for three days); there is also a hotel inside the park. If you are willing to hike you can make the famous W tour (on the map the hiking route looks as W); you will then need to camp. Or you may prefer to do day hikes from the hotel you’re staying. All those trees that are burned look like a modern art installation, sadly got burnt in that fire of 2005. The park is so beautiful I wish I could sleep here and go back with a motorbike taking the Route 40, the famous 5000 km road that connects the north of Argentina to the south, a legendary name for adventure travellers.