Panorama of Valle del frances - the Jewl in the Crown
Further up from Campamento Británico with some scrambling is the Mirador for the famed Valle del Frances - the weather actually has taken a nasty turn with further rains and I hastily retreated after a less-than-satisfactory take of the landscape as my gears are not weather-proof for any more pattering from the elements. No sooner had I got back to the camp site then the cloud started to lift with a faint ray of the long-gone sun - I paused for a moment and weighed in all the possiblities and decided to have one more go - a false break as it turned out - when I got back I was greeted with more rains. My heart really broke there and then.
Just as soon as I thought it was done for the day - a glimmer of hope finally I saw for that less than a minute break in the cloud - as I siezed the opportunity with so much haste I nearly toppled my tripod together with my camera - a close-shave but I finally had the view I want for my photo !
From left to right are :
Cumbre Principal of Cerro Paine Grande(3050m)
Cumbre Norte of Cerro Paine Grande(2750m)
Cerro Cabeza del Indio(2282m)
This is an area devoid of much vegatation just before Campamento Británico, or simply British Campsit...
Further along the narrow trail that meanders through the beech forest, the rapidly flowing Rio Francé...
One feature that most visitors to Patagonia would certainly agree upon is how fickle the weather ther...
As soon as I emerge from the trees and onto this shoulder part of the trail I know my luck was out. ...
The trail to Valle del Frances, or the French valley climbs mostly below the tree line for most of th...
The trail of the "W" Trek is not vey well maintained - there hasn't been much upkeep done since I las...
One of the many highlights on the Torres del Paine full circuit is the proglacial lake of Laguna de l...
Another 30 mins'walk or so from here is Refugio Los Cuernos where I would call the day. Valle Badder ...
One of the many streams running down from Monte Almirante Nieto that feeds the turquoise Lago Nordens...
If trees were like humans, the scene here would fit the description of a carnage - charred remains on...
South America makes up the southern half of the Americas and a large part of Latin America. It's home to the world's longest mountain range, biggest waterfall and largest river -- even these mammoths pale in comparison to the stunning variety of life forms thriving in the rainforest.
To the northwest, off the coast of Ecuador, lie the Galapagos Islands, which are unique for hosting species not found anywhere else on earth. These were the subject of study for Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution, which he himself said will require proof in every single case.
The main languages in South America are Spanish and Portugese, which basically tells you which European countries colonized the place. The South American wars of independence took place over two decades in the early 19th century, led by Simon Bolivar of Venezuela and Jose san Martin of Argentina.
Following liberation from Portugal and Spain, South America took off into its own development, capitalizing on the rich deposits of oil, gold, copper, silver and tango musicians.
Brazil is the largest country in South America and home to one of the world's best parties, Carnaval. Have you heard of samba music? How about bossa nova? Maybe dancing for three days straight?
I can't say enough good things about South America. All the world's continents have amazing secrets and treasures laying in wait for your discovery, but in South America... just have a look at our pictures while you're waiting for online confirmation of your plane tickets to hit your inbox.
Text by Steve Smith.