Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales was once a fishing port just a little way up the Chilean coast (up from the bottom that is) and still remains a port but also serves as the place to access the National Park of Torres del Paines.
The place itself is wonderful, sat right on a lake and with a backdrop of snow capped mountains all around. It was also v cold and windy.  
We were staying in a house which had been converted into a hostel but the best bit about the the place was that the owner, Eduado was also a guide for the national park. He was brilliant and along with the local tourist information we had our own itinerary sorted out fairly quickly and had managed to rent a tent (turned out to be a little short), some sleeping mats and some waterproof trousers.
We didn’t realize before we arrived that the Torres del Paine was such a Mecca for hikers, and people were here from all over the world to do the “W.”
This is a trek done over four nights and five days and is in the shape of a W. There are campsites all over the park and there are also hostels called refugios where bunk beds are available as well as cooked meals and a place to get warm and dry.
The refugios are located at strategic points on the W so that you can leave your bags and then hike up and down the last steeper bits to see the sights.
We decided to do a combination of camping but then taking advantage of being able to eat a meal in the warmth of the refugios. Also because we didn’t have the time we were only going to do a couple of the most popular routes and then catch a bus between the two ends of the W. T

   
The whole town looks very different in that all the houses are almost unique and look as though they are built to withstand some pretty harsh weather. 

 
The green house on the left was where we stayed.

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