After a wet night...and experiencing wetness for 3 evenings in a row, we woke up to another damp morning.
My throat was feeling sore and I was feeling sick too. The ibuprophen was working at least and kept me going.
We had the usualy breakfast. Quick oats, fruit, cheese, bread.
And we got to put our lunches together.
Perros Gardner Gray Trail
Today we were hking the Perros Gardner Gray Trail, from Camp Perros to Camp Gray, a total of 14 miles, our second longest hike.
This hike was the most different and special from all the hikes...in my opinion.
It was also a hike where we started the furthest from civilization. The entire hike we enountered only 1 other group of 12 hikers.
The Terrain and Climate
This is where all the advertising for Patagonia started making sense.
The first 3 hiking days, we were in mostly temperate forests. Today it drastically changed to rocky terrain, with a change in temperature and views.
Thinking back what we went through this day was definitly a crazy change. We were hiking up very hilly terrain. There was barely any vegetation. Lots of broken up rocks, from glacier deposits over the millenia. And then lots of snow and wind!
If it wasn't for trails cut out of the snow, we might have been buried in it up to our knees. And then the wind was incredible. You had to lean into it, or be blown away!! And with that, the temperature went down to below freezing.
This is when packing for all seasons made sense. I was wearing all my layers:
- Wool base layer (smartwool or rei brand)
- Patagonia puff jacket (hoodless)
- Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket
- Neck Buff
- Buff for my head under my hat
- Long quick drying pants
- Sunglasses (always)
They all seemed to work great, because despite the wind and cold, I was feeling comfortable, sometimes having to unzip getting hot from hiking..
We all seemed to have fun too, dealing with all the changes, especially the wind trying to blow us over.
And then we came upon it. Gray Glacier!
Wow!! I took pic of the glacier, but they don't give any justice to the magnitude, depth and color variations.
The crevaces alone were dark and deep. The colors went from white to deep blues. And the distance of the glacier was about 4 miles long.
People also go hiking along it. Maybe another trip!
One of the funnest parts of the trip, was going over the wooden plank suspended bridges!!
They were tethered down on each side with steel cables, burried under a pile of rocks.
The wind was blowing, so they were swaying too!!
They only allowed 2 people at a time, spaced out half way.
It wasn't too bad going over and some people took pictures in the middle. I didn't want to risk dropping my phone and only took pics at the start and end. You can see pictures below, starting at pic number 54.
Kelly had noticed the porters were running over them. After going over a couple bridges, there were probably 5 or 6 of them, we decided to run over them too! Lots of fun!!!
So 12 hours later, and 14 miles from Camp Perros, we arrived at Camp Gray, officially finishing the O section of the trek and connecting with the beginning of the W portion.
It was the first time we didn't encounter rain toward the end of the hike.
There were definitly more people here. And the buildings were nicer than Camp Perros.
I was shown to my tent, which was near the commons area. I put my stuff down and I was intent on taking a shower. But because our hike was so long, it was time for dinner.
Then it started to rain. Oh well....at least it wasn't during the hike.
So after the few days of cold and rain...and overall dampness, I went to the dinning room and it was like paradise. There was heat turned way up and every cold bone in my body was heating up. There was a point I thought I died and was in heaven.
The dinning room was also nice and clean, a well decorated room and we had servers. It probably held about 50 people and it was filled. The only drawback was it got loud, and the group we encountered, going through the snow, was also there and they were the loudest....but having fun too.
Everyone in our group was tired and some were irritated by the noise...especially after the peace and tranquility of the trails.
For dinner, I ordered some meat, which was not very good, hard and dry. After the excellent lentils the porters made at Camp Perros, this was a dissapointment. Some other people had a vege lasagne, which I should have ordered instead.
We had wine served, but I decided to skip again, to make sure I was feeling 100% well, after being sick the past couple days.
I really wanted to shower, so after dinner, I went to the common shower area and it was closed. They closed the showers at 9 PM for whatever reason. I wasn't going to have it, so I went to the main office and questioned, just in case they'd let me in. Nope.
So I ran into Emilio and he suggested I go to the refugios. He told me to walk in like I was staying there, not look at anyone and go straight to the showers.
This worked and I was so relieved, after not showing for 2 days!!!
Nothing special for bed. I had a solo tent again. There were rain puddles, so I made sure to dodge them on the way from the commons and back.