The next day we woke up bright and early to hike to the French Valley. Our bodies ached, but we were better prepared mentally to tackle Patagonia. We ate a big, hearty breakfast and stepped outside to another beautifully sunny day. I was thrilled because the path appeared to be a relatively flat hike throughout a burnt down forrest…but I spoke to soon. The path instantly curved uphill fast. From hanging bridges atop glacial white waters, to viewing the actual hanging glaciers, to watching “real life” avalanches, it was all amazing.
When we finally reached the summit after a grueling hike, it was extraordinarily windy and raining thanks to the hanging glaciers directly in front of us. We figured that the descent down would be a breeze (well, all things considered) except for the fact that I desperately had to pee – typical, I know. So dad and I ran ahead of the group trying to make a speedy retreat back to the Refugio, when we realized that we still had to hike 12 km (7.5 miles) back. We hurried as fast as we could for what felt like the longest distance in the world – we put moms speed-walking skills to shame. Hey, at least it kept us from dilly-dallying on the way back. That night we had an incredibly large, delicious dinner, which was definitely needed considering how many calories we were burning.