This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
The granite monoliths known as the


Torres del Paine lend their name to Chilean Patagonia’s spectacular national park


I


’m halfway through my calafate berry cheesecake when the cry goes up in the dining dome: “Puma-aaaa!” My fellow campmates spring from their seats and rush outside into the windy evening. Except for me. My legs still feel like Jello after the thirteen-mile mountain trek I did earlier that day. By the time I manage to hobble out to join the others, the puma has slunk away. People are showing each other blurry photos on the screens of phones and cameras, a few of which do feature blobs and streaks that I’ll admit are vaguely wildcat-shaped. One of the guides declares how lucky we all are to have seen a puma, considering there are only


sixty of the beasts in the entire park. Now they tell me. The park in question is Torres del Paine National Park, a 927-square-mile expanse of mountains,


glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chile. In Patagonia, to be exact. Patagonia. It took a great deal of restraint not to end the previous sentence with an exclamation mark, and even more not to begin it with “Ah . . .” I’m hoping the editor of this magazine will at least see it fit to italicise the word.


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