Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Torres Del Paine, Chile - Foot Rot

Photo: Lake view - Almost halfway!

The previous night passed without any notable incidents, except the tent was set up on a slope and apparently I took up most of what little room there was. The rain and wind musn't have been too bad or we'd have been washed or blown away and the cold wasn't that noticeable. As I got ready to exit the tent, I removed my plastic bag socks which unleashed a horrid ammonia stench that would could have been classified as a W.M.D. I decided that any ideas about patenting this insulation idea were fraught with too many complications. We had a long nine hour hike ahead of us so finished breakfast quickly (yep - tuna sandwiches and chocolate again!).

Photo: A picturesque pebble beach

The weather had taken a turn for the better and it was actually quite hot. It was too hot in fact and after charging down the mountain at a fairly fast pace for an out o' shape paddy, my feet felt they were on fire (they probably were after the chemical saturation they'd endured in plastic all night!) . A foot bath in the cold river water was the only way to douse the inferno, but God help the fish or bottle refillers down stream!). In the limited strategy stages of the trip, we'd discussed the possibility of 10 or 12 hour hikes, but let me tell you, 9 hours is more than enough. At the halfway point, it looked as if there was a dried ice machine hidden in my shoes. There was literally steam coming off them, I kid you not. Longer and more frequent foot baths became a requisite. I took to running the downhill stretches to shorten the agony, but this also increased the burn factor and raised more than a few eyebrows amongst my fellow weary hikers.

Photo: The Torres in the background

We reached an interesting point towards the 2/3rds marker as the only way to continue was to wade into and across an icy river, but at least that helped the ol' foot burn problem. After what seemed an eternity, we reached Torres Norte Base where the car awaited with supplies and a real (bunk) bed and hot cooked food and BEER for the night!

Photo: Footbath #5

Photo: Guanaco's (Lama's) by the lake

Photo: ..and I would walk 500 miles and I would ... ach maybe not!


TextualHealing January 26, 2008 8:03 am  

That looks like some good hiking country. Hope you survive(d) the cold, mozzies and foot rot.

Quickroute January 27, 2008 4:22 pm  

Thanks, The body did survive, the mind is an enigma so who knows?! ...but my shoes had to be disposed of in an incinerator b.t.w. I was trying to set up RSS feed for your site but doesn't seem to be available?


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