This is going to be one of those posts better suited to pictures than stories.
A few nuggets:
Route. 5 days, 4 nights hike in Chile's Torres del Paine park, hiking a very popular 'W Circuit' (a garbage name if you ask me- the route on a map looks like the W a three year old with no fine motor skills would draw)(also I kind of hate named routes anyway because they make amateurs like me sound like we're trying to be hard core posers. "Oh yeah, we're doin the W, thinkin about adding in the tail, on our own, huzzah")
Lodges. The route is unique because there are 5 built in lodges dotting the route offering hot showers, meals, and bunks, as well as camp sites. Essentially, you could do the W with a day pack, or just a water bottle and a couple layers if you hate backpacks. We brought our own tent and stove, rented sleeping bags, and paid for breakfast in hopes of a buffet (not a buffet but the food was decent enough and it's nice not having to cook in the morning).
Old friend. We had a friend shipped in from the US just for Patagonia. Jill, my old roommate and outdoor gear junkie (mostly coats) joined us for 10 days, this hike included. Jill is fun and easy and was a perfect hiking/travel companion.
New friend. We found a fourth en route. We ran into Nick, a clever Brit about four times in town before he joined us for our route. Here was lots of US-UK comparison and general banter about his family's castle (rented out for movies) and their place in the South of France (yes, please), and travel.
Wind. Holy swear words, the wind. One day it was blowing water from the lake into a mist 100 feet high, so we had to crouch for safety. That night I was suuuure the tent was going to blow into oblivion. You could hear a wind burst starting up the mountain, gathering steam, getting louder and screamier as it approached. Totally nuts.
My poor poor feet. And knees. And ankles. Up and down, step by step, by the time we finished my feet were on fire.