Torres del Paine

One year, after a particularly devastating typhoon that gave us weeks and weeks of no television, we fell in love with the music of Les Miserables.  A friend loaned us his video of the Broadway cast singing the score in costume, without the acting.  It may have been the only video we had, and we watched it again and again… learning all the lyrics, loving the grand notes.  It became a beautiful part of our lives, and we knew someday we’d have to see the play on Broadway.

That day finally came, and I’ll always remember the moment I was sitting in the theatre and the opening notes came from the orchestra.  It was the very same moment the chills ran down my spine and the tears filled my eyes.  I was there.  It was happening.

It’s the very same feeling I experienced as the towers of Torres del Paine came into view one moody day in Patagonia.

For years Gary has dreamed of hiking in Patagonia.  Two years ago we were in southern Chile in the “jumping off place” for the trek, but we were still a couple of hundred miles away.  I bought a wonderful hiking shirt in Punta Arenas that day.  I knew I could at least be reminded of the place every time I wore it.  We looked at photos on the internet continually.  Gary did what he does for mental vacations… pulled up internet sites and learned all about the place.  One day he sent me a photo in an e-mail (as we sat a few feet from one another in our office).  It was the fabulous view of Torres del Paine, and he sent this message along with it:  “Picture you and me here.”

I put the e-mail in my “Travel” folder, and loved looking at it from time to time.

And we dreamed and we saved and we planned… and in January we stepped off the ship in Punta Arenas, took our first Cessna flight, boarded a bus and we were on our way.  As the mountains came into the distant view my heart was pounding.  As they came closer and closer the chills arrived on my spine and tears showed up in my eyes.


The clouds moved in and out, the sun kept changing the scene, the driver kept giving us different foregrounds… lakes, waterfalls, guanacos, condors, icy rivers.

We walked across a bridge out to a fabulous room with huge windows showcasing the view to eat our lunch, and the clouds truly came rolling in.  We hoped they would leave, but they had come to stay.  They could have come early in the morning and we might have missed it all.  We only had a day, and to have been given the morning was a gift I’ll always cherish.

Perhaps we’ll be back.  Perhaps we’ll actually stay a week and hike in this place.  Or perhaps we’ll treasure this day and our photos for as long as we live, and that will be our Patagonian experience.  Come what may… I’m thrilled!

(My favorite photo… G capturing this special moment!)


14 Responses to “Torres del Paine”

  1. Marcea Clive says:

    I can’t even imagine! ! Beautiful…….

  2. Bette says:

    Absolutely amazing!

  3. Betty Williamson says:

    Sandy, I nearly got tears myself reading this. What a beautiful story, and the photos are breathtaking. So glad you got to go…and so glad you are home again and sharing these stories with us.

  4. Gary FIelds says:

    Thank You Sandy for capturing this life moment so succinctly!

  5. Sandy says:

    And Thank You Gary… for dreaming up such marvelous dreams!

  6. KIm Mann says:

    It must have been breathtaking! Beautiful!!

  7. Pam says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us!!

  8. Cheryl says:

    OK, tears from my eyes, too! I know you know it and I know you appreciate it but I just have to say again how marvelously blessed you two are to have one another! Your love for each other shines through in everything you do. Thanks for sharing your journey…your life journey and the physical ones we can see in your beautiful pictures! Love you guys!

  9. Sandy says:

    Oh Cheryl, what a special comment. Thank you. Indeed.. we are blessed.. and ever so thankful!

  10. Lawanda Calton says:

    Grade School sweethearts! You two have surely been blessed! And you share so many blessings with others! Thank you!

  11. Wanda Martinez says:

    What a wonderful,beautiful trip you must of had. Thank
    you for sharing it with us. Love your pictures. I am so glad I signed up for your Field Days.

  12. Lezlie Privett says:

    It’s stories like this I wish there was a “LOVE” button! “Like” just doesn’t do it justice! BEAUTIFUL!

  13. Nico says:

    You guys are amazing! I am so blessed that we get enjoy your travels through your eloquence and magical photographs!

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