Vintage Cape Horn 2013

An epic 6,000 kilometre adventure drive from Buenos Aires to Cape Horn through Argentina and Chile.

Day 17 - Torres del Paine rest day

The last rest day, the last chance to do something out of the ordinary in this quite extraordinary place. Torres del Paine is a Unesco world biosphere reserve and the tourist industry here is well set up for delivering an experience you won’t forget for a long time.

There had been some late night carousing last night - we’re told - but surprisingly many of us were up bright and early and the boat trip which left at 6.30am for a half day tour of the lakes saw some passengers arrive on the jetty wearing their own lifejackets.

As is their lot the sweeps had a half day of fixing and fettling before they could clock off and claim their rest day and like many others Tony Jones swapped his overalls and the driving seat for a set of jodhpurs and a saddle.

It wasn’t all play though, work down in the garage continued as usual. Chuck Lyford spent seven hours sweating under his Fangio 'getting it right for the last bit’ whilst others sweated for seven or more hours in the spa.

Some of us took what was probably the most strenuous of options however, the 17km trek to the base of the towers. Thanks to Barbara Philips-Tensing pushing the pace both there and back this group claimed the record for the fastest round trip of the season. It still gave us plenty of time to enjoy lunch at the top though and to gaze across to the three Torres on what we’re told was the best day for many months. The sky was blue and there was no wind as we unwrapped the excellent packed lunch issued by the hotel. Our guide had carried hot soup for us along with various salad items, tea and coffee and chocolate. A truly memorable fine dining experience.

Our stay at the Explora has been a remarkable one, both it’s location and its ambiance have led countless crews to state that this was the best hotel of the Rally if not one of the best they have ever stayed in.

Tomorrow we head out of the Park to Punta Arenas to begin the last leg of the journey through Tierra de Fuego.

Fred Fangio


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