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2020 march: Chile/Patagonia Torre del Paine

It was not far from Calafate to the Chilean border, where we switched back to the Chilean part of Patagonia. The destination was the small village of Villa Cerro Castillo on the edge of the Torre del Paine National Park and the starting point for the next 12 days.

Torre del Paine - harsh climate and sharp wind

The park is known for its towering mountains and the golden pampas (grass steppes), the rare animals such as the guanacos, pumas, Patagonian fox and many species of birds. The most famous landmarks include the 3 granite towers after which the park is named and the horn-shaped peaks of the Cuernos del Paine.

Pumas and other wildlife Torre del Paine

The most exciting part of my stay in the Torre del Paine National Park was a 9 day tracking tour to take pictures of pumas. I hired two tracker teams in advance. It is not easy to see or find pumas - alone almost impossible. It takes experienced trackers and I had one of the best, if not the best, trackers with Jorge Cardenas. You are not lucky every day, nor is the weather good every day. Wind speeds of up to 130 km on some days, up to 7 km uphill and downhill on partly steep terrain did not make hiking with 18 kg camera equipment easy. But it was worth it. I was able to take breathtaking photos of some cougars. Three females, named Rupestre, Petaca and Blinka, were very special with their young. I will repeat the same thing in the Patagonian winter, July 2021.