Explora and Torres de Paine National Park

Leslie and I arrived at ”Explora” this afternoon after a 5 hour drive from Punta Arenas and a quick stop in Puerto Natales en route to use the facilities!

After a quick lunch I headed out on the Mirador Condor excursion (Condor Lookout) while Leslie had to handle some work issue.  I can’t even begin to describe how breathtaking the views are here!  Mamma Mia!

Much of the vegetation is similar to where we where in Argentina (after all, this whole area is considered Patagonia) but the scenery is quite different and more dramatic.   There are also Sweet Peas, Lady Slippers, and a shrub that looks lovely and soft but is, in fact, very prickly,  it is called “Mother-in-Law’s Cushion”!

Three years ago, I visited the other two Exlpora® properties with Leslie and my friend Ann.  We enjoyed them very much and I knew I needed to come back and enjoy the third!  The other two are in the Atacama desert in northern Chile and in Easter Island (land of the big-head moai).

The excursion was wonderful, just the right amount of exertion when slightly out of hiking practice and also the get an appreciation of the terrain and the “easy, moderate, difficult” ratings placed on the excursions.

I climbed to the top of the hill with the guide, a couple from Santiago, Chile, and a couple from Canada.  The Canadians were both salespeople by profession and you all now the type, very smiley and cheerful and they had to get to the top of the hill first, at all costs!  No problem there as the rest of s were chatting and taking pictures, etc.

The Canadians were actually here on their honeymoon 7 years ago but the woman had broken her leg right before the trip and they obviously weren’t able to do any activities so they were back for their do-over.

We saw one condor from the top but he was quite far away so no photos!

After dinner, the routine is that the guides come around to the common areas and explain to excursions options to the guests.  We signed up, enjoyed some drinks, and went to bed at about 11:00 pm.

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About Sophia la Vespa

Seattle by Vespa!
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