One of the main attractions in Patagonia is Torres del Paines National Park. Its a place for seeing the stunning beauty of the amazing Andes Mountains. From Puerto Natales, we chose to take a large boat into the park to see the Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers that are part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. After a land trek to see the Serrano Glacier up close, we said goodbye to the large boat and boarded a small and very fast zodiac for an absolutely crazy journey up the Serrano River in a pelting ice rain.
The trip started off easy enough with a 3 minute buzz across the fjord to a wilderness ranch owned by our pilot’s family. They served us a great lunch of roast chicken and potatoes. Things got wild after that and we were very grateful that we had long underwear underneath our layered clothing and jackets.
Even with the heavy orange parkas that they provided, we were hardly a match for the sideways rain Patagonia is known for, especially since our zodiac was shooting across the water with two 100 hp outboards at full throttle. Forget thrill rides. This was off the thrill charts.
Then like some Wagner opera, the storm passed, the sun came out, and the Serrano River revealed the inner beauty of the mountainous fjords of Chile. Highlighted by a wonderful waterfall that we had to portage, the trip will be one that we will remember for a long long time. Hats off to Miguel and his son Donal for taking such good care of us while also putting us on the edge of our seats.