Tineke returned in January from a Full Circuit trek in Torres del Paine. Her she tells us about her experiences on her trip and in booking with Swoop and our partners…
I was really happy with the prompt and personable way in which Swoop responded to all my questions. I also really liked the fact that Luke was able to secure a private trip with one of their partners in Torres del Paine for a competitive price, despite the fact that we only had three people in our party. We loved the fact that Swoop and their partners found other people to join us so that we could eventually do this trip as a group of what turned out to be five very compatible people. I have no suggestions and I will most certainly recommend you to anyone considering going to Patagonia.
How were our partners in Torres del Paine?
Also great! Laura did a wonderful job taking care of the logistics, and we also liked the company she chose for our penguin excursion. We felt very spoiled that all the thinking and organising had already been done for us.
How were your guides on the trip?
Justin, our guide, was fantastic: knowledgeable, professional and a great guy to get to know better. We all enjoyed each other’s company.
How did you enjoy the itinerary?
The itinerary was well thought-out, in retrospect, and we got lucky with the weather relative to that itinerary. For instance, the kayaking trip happened to work out during the morning that it was planned for, but would not have been possible the day before or the afternoon after. The 5th day involved crossing the John Garner pass and – rather than continuing on to Grey – we stayed at Paso. That seemed at first to be a needless stop, since we got to the (cold and rainy and very basic) camp early in the afternoon. However, we appreciated the extra day when we realised that the next part – though not terribly long – did involve a lot of steep downhill. We could have continued on, but would have enjoyed that section less if we had crammed it in the previous day. Moreover, it gave us another day in the backcountry, which was the best part of the trip!
How were your meals on the trip?
I don’t think anyone has much control over the food. It’s a wonderbread-country 😉 and the lack of competition among suppliers did not seem to encourage them to provide any great lunches. Some were REALLY awful and pretty minimal for a full day of hiking. A particularly cynical inclusion was a bottle of water in our lunch bag from ‘Fantastico Sur’. Really? However, I can’t blame Swoop’s partners, Justin (our guide) or Swoop of course for any of that. We survived.
What was the highlight of your trip?
It’s hard to point at one highlight. What made the trip so special was that we truly enjoyed every day. Having a guide (and porters for part of the time) was a really great idea. It took all the worrying and second-guessing out of it, for one thing.