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December 28, 2015

So the beauty of reserving camping at Refugio Paine Grande two nights in a row is twofold.

1. In case of bad weather we could choose which day would be better suited for a hike to Glacier Grey

2. We could hike with a day pack, as opposed to backpacking to Refugio Grey on day 1 and backpacking back to Refugio Paine Grande on day 2

It rained off and on from midnight until 11 am. The wind battered our tent. Though the only, single pole alpine tent set up in camp, it survived handily. Since we hiked to Glacier Grey yesterday, we got to take a day off from hiking on a gloomy day. We showered when no one was around, though I would have liked my shower better had it been hot. It was cool with an occasional surge of luke warm water.

During the dreary morning, we played cards and read in the dining area. We warmed up with a hot lunch of lentil soup with salad and bread as we watched the changing weather pattern. Eventually, the sun peaked out. We thought we’d take advantage of the clearing sky to stretch our legs.

We strolled down to Lago Pehoé and found the trail that leads from the park’s administrative headquarters to our campground. This section is part of the Q route. There is also an O route. Both of these routes include the W, but extend to a less crowded section of the park. Having said that, we didn’t find our hike to Glacier Grey to be terribly crowded, especially in the evening.

So we climbed the path to the top of the ridge and admired the landscape from above our campground. On our way down, we saw a woman eating berries. We asked what they were and she replied, “Calafate berries”. We decided to try some, though I didn’t find them that tasty.

Dinner tonight was roast on rice with salad and cream of lentil soup with a terrible dessert and peach juice. After David’s third glass of juice, I said, “You know, I think that juice is straight from the canned peaches that were used for the peach tart last night.” He laughed and replied, “Yeah, and I think the cream of lentil soup is leftover water from the hot lunch that was served today.” Well, at least they aren’t wasteful!

Tomorrow we are headed to Campamento Italiano and Valle de Francés and the forecast seems promising! ETB

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