/ torres del paine: part 1

my trip through patagonia keeps on getting crazier and crazier and puerto natales did not falter. after completing a 3 day hike in torres del paine – one of the most famous national parks in chile – I had the privilege of revisiting the park with an award winning photographer and filmmaker, james martin – an incredibly kind and talented individual who is dedicated to documenting our beautiful world in an effort towards global conservation.
this is a bit out of order, so I will return to my trek through torres del paine in a later post
on friday, dave left to return to NY after spending the past 2 weeks travelling with me. it’s been great traveling with a friend but i’m ready to be on my own and have time to myself. i used friday to recover after our trek through torres del paine and to plan out some of the rest of my trip. i had erratic rock hostel to myself more or less and it felt super homey – besides a nice couple from new zealand who arrived late. around 9pm, a man walked in looking for a bed for the night and he ended up sharing my room with me. i noticed he had some camera gear and we got to chatting about it. he turned out to be James Q Martin, or “Q”, a professional photographer who was down here shooting commercially. It turns out we had been following the same path more or less for the last week – him and his crew were in chalten when we were there too.
Q was headed into TDP for a couple days by himself to shoot some personal work. he had a car – something i had been desperate to rent while i was down here because there is so much more to explore on your own than a bus. after talking until 1am, he invited me to follow him along for the day although he couldn’t get me a ride back to puerto natales – about a 2 hour ride away – I would figure out a way to get back. when opportunites like this come up, you cannot say no, and i had an open schedule until monday evening when i’m taking a ferry up to puerto montt.
after getting 4 hours of sleep, we woke up at 5am to get to the park for sunrise, where we would have to hike 1.5 miles to get to a lookout point. after a 90 minute drive down a gravel road, we arrived at the park in time for sunrise and we could immediately tell it would be an epic day as the sky was very clear – we got lucky. up at the lookout point, we faced the infamous extreme winds of TDP, where i was pretty much getting blown over.
i ended up spending the whole day with Q, we drove throughout the park stopping for different photos and vantage points. we chatted endlessly about photography, conservation of the environment, and enjoying life to its fullest – it was an incredible way to kick start my solo travel trip and an honor to be able to shoot alongside such an accomplished photographer, who is also very knowledgeable about patagonia as he has been down here 7 times now. however, even with all his trips down here, he had never made it to TDP. it was special to get to experience that with him on such a gorgeous day. as this was so last minute, i had barely any food or drink with me, so i was in heaven when we pulled over and Q handed me a sandwich.
this was a legendary and spontaneous adventure that will be something i never forget. i cannot describe how exciting it was for me to be able to pick someone’s brain on tips and techniques in such a breathtaking park, with zero worries and a grin on my face all day.
thank you, Q!
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all images © 2019 dan greenberg.

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