Patagonia trip day 9

29 July, 2015

Day 9: The Torres stand; dreams do come true

Los Torres National Park / Mylodon Caves / Puerto Natales

The really cool thing about staying with Caridad is that she was a keen tour guide and knows the area well! The goal of day one was my long long awaited visit to see Los Torres in person. We saw them! Unfortunately it was not a perfectly clear day so at best we saw pieces of the towers or all but shaded. We spent a while driving through the park and seeing lakes, waterfalls, mountains, cuernos and of course torres! The rock is unlike anything I've ever seen - it's so vertical! It's impossible to look on these things without seeing the history in them. I've always found that a lot of the time when talking about rocks and mountains from millions of years ago I have a visualization but I can't really see it in the landscape. This time was really really different. Every time I saw a gigantic column of rock it was simple to picture it as a magma column buried deep in the ground before it cools and millions of years pass and remove it's surroundings. Really cool. A storm started to move through and it became really difficult to see anything we wanted to, so we decided to switch it up.

The next stop was the famous Mylodon Cave. It's a massive cave in which a german settler found the hide for a long-extinct species of sloth in the 1895. This discovery cleared up another series of steps in the evolutionary map of that part of the world. Now there's a lifesized replica of the Mylodon in the cave mouth and an interactive path around the inner perimeter of the cave. It was neat! From there we went to see some more of the caves but got the car good and proper stuck in an ice river of sorts. We had to get some park rangers to tow us out (thanks guys!) and decided to abandon those plans in favor of some french fries in Puerto Natales.

Puerto Natales is a charming little port town which to my understanding is mostly in place at this point as the closest urban-ish center to Los Torres. Not much to write about here, just french fries followed by dinner back in Cerro Castillo!

Photosphere in Mylodon Cave