Torres del Paine National Park is not easy to reach but it is gorgeous. It is most of the way to the tip of South America (google map). That far south, snow line is very low. "Paine" in the name is an Indian word that has nothing to do with pain. It means blue. Torre is Spanish for tower or steeple, so the name translates as "blue towers" because the ice on the steep mountains (see especially the odd-shaped peaks in the last photo) is glacial and has that odd blue color characteristic of glacial ice.
I was there in November of 2008, which wss late spring. The guanaco bush Anarthrophyllum desideratum was flowering
|guanacos, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile|
The marshes had unfamiliar birds nesting.
The countryside was starkly beautiful:
Much of the vegetation was extremely spiny. Striking out across the countryside would likely have been aggravating as plant after plant grabbed at you.
|a small pea vine probably the Magellanic vetch,|
Vicia magellanica, but there are 11 vetch species in Patagonia
|topa topa, Calceolaria uniflora|
It was a really spectacular place!
Comments and corrections welcome
Calceolariaceae. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. link. Accessed 1/29/18.
Guerrido, C. and D. Fernandez. 2007. Flora Patagonia. FS Editorial Fantástico Sur. Punta Arenas, Chile.
Kathy Keeler, A Wandering Botanist
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You might also like these blogs about that trip
A walk on Cape Horn link
The end of the Pan American highway link
Forests at the end of the Americas link