Once more, the breakfast at the hotel was not much to speak of. The room was not even half full. On the plus side, they had good OJ, and filled up our water bottles. We met Milena, Arturo and Nico at 8:00. Given the claim for pretty good weather, we decided on doing Laguna Torre (12.4 miles, 820 feet elevation gain) together, rather than splitting up and having Justin do the long hike (Loma del Pliegue Tumbado) and Crystal going with Roger and Donna. It was a 3 minute drive to the spot in town where the hike left from. The weather looked fairly clear, but the tops of mountains were still a bit obscured. The first part of hike, maybe 2 kilometers, was uphill and mostly exposed.

At one of the early signs, we saw that smoking was not in fact prohibited, but just admonished. So if you're scoring at home, yesterday Justin started a verbal altercation with a foreigner over something that wasn't actually disallowed, but just discouraged. He felt a titch more embarrassed, but still didn't feel bad since the person was French. After the first little uphill part, the hike flattened out substantially, and alternated between walking through the forest and walking through exposed rocky areas. In the exposed areas, we had good views of Cerro Torre and also a bit of Fitzroy. At one nice lookout spot, we took a short break for some photos.

We were making pretty good time, and Justin estimated earlier we'd be to the lake at 11:15; we seemed on target. Chatting on the trail, Milena told us about her son's upcoming birthday, and plans for that. We asked her whether it gets tiring doing the same hikes over and over, she seemed to concede yes. Torres del Paine has far many hikes than El Chalten, and any guide in El Chalten probably does Laguna Torre and Laguna de Los Tres at least once or twice every week. Compared to yesterday, today was a very quiet hike, with almost no other people on the trail, probably only 5-10% of people the day before. The last little bit was uphill, but nothing much at all in a relative sense.

We got to the end at 11:16, one minute after Justin's projection. At the end there was a guy crossing the river by rapelling across with his gear. There was almost no wind at all, the complete opposite of yesterday. We found a nice flat rock to set up lunch. Justin walked around and took pictures of mountains and icebergs whilst Crystal and Milena chatted. Cerro Torre looked like it should have an evil lair in it somewhere, being so vertical and in the clouds. Since everything was clear, ironically it would have been a good day for the longer hike, but frankly it would've been a good day for any hike in the area. Now looking at Cerro Torre, Milena told us about the different climbing routes for climbing the towers. The rocks around the lake were really cool, with lots of different colors, including some greenish blue and some brick red. Compared to yesterday, we had a nice quiet lunch. There were people that were showing up while we ate, so maybe we just got an early start.

Before starting the walk back, Justin estimated 15:23 for our end time. The walk back saw more people, but still only a fraction of the day before. Like yesterday, we kept looking over our shoulders, as the views were still spectacular. It was actually getting a bit warm, so we were dropping as many layers as possible. Milena kept asking if we wanted a break, but we were in good shape and didn't want or need to stop. Then realized that perhaps she wanted a break, so when she next asked if we wanted a break, we said sure. We stopped at a lookout, the one we'd stopped at earlier, and enjoyed the view. Humorously, there was a girl who was freaking out about the horse flies - she must have been one of the people wearing tights and lululemon this morning. In fairness, the horse flies were the only bad thing about the trail, as there were a bunch. Justin told Crystal the horse flies were bothering her because of her ponytail. We're not sure if that was a better or worse joke than the border collie joke.

At around the 2km mark, we split left to go back more towards our hotel. On this part, we had the trail almost all to ourselves. There was some steep downhill right at the end. Once we exited the trail, Justin looked at his watch - we exited the trail exactly at 15:23. As Nico later said, he should have bought a lottery ticket. At the hotel, we tried to call Nicholas and Arturo, but they weren't back yet. We got cleaned up, and afterwards the front desk called with a message from Nico and Arturo. They came by, and drove us over to a lookout point just outside of town. They were very surprised we made it to Laguna Torre and back in such short time. We took a couple of photos, then went back to the hotel. Apparently, the skyline around El Chalten is the model for the logo for the Patagonia brand. It's not an exact match, but we can see the resemblance.

At the hotel bar, we got a "Margarita" and a Pisco sour. Justin fixed Crystal's margarita by asking for a glass of lime juice, and just pouring it into Crystal's drink. Whilst enjoying our drinks, we watched some people doing rock climbing across the street. There was a dog helping them out. After our drink, we walked up and down the main street. We did some souvenir shopping for us and for Justin's brother's family. We got a pinguino wine jug (to go with our pinguino wine holder we got in Ushuaia in 2008), and some cold weather hats for Justin's brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. After getting back and getting "dressed up," we went to dinner.

We had dinner at El Viejo Nando, as we'd predicted from when we were walking up and down the main street. We all got Cordero, which was way too much food. We could have gotten 3 plates for the 5 of us. Again, we should have paid attention to Arturo, who got something much more manageable. We talked about our plans for the future, and Justin mentioned how he wanted to have a sugar-mama. In Spanish, neither Nico nor Arturo knew of a term for sugar mama, but there was a term for a kept man - Cafiche. After hearing this, Justin kept referring to himself in the third person as Cafiche. After getting back from dinner, we started in on bottle of wine that Roger and Donna had given us. At some point, we got to sleep.

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