DAY 806 - THE PUMA OF TORRES DEL PAINE

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Day 806 - Torres del Paine, Chile - 19323 km

I found it a bit regretable having seen no bears or a bald eagle from up close when I cycled through the US, but I never imagined I would stand eye in eye with a puma on this journey. It happened out of nowhere on the main road to the Torres del Paine. I caught something in the corner of my eye which made me stop abruptly. Was that really what I thought it was? It was about 20 meters away from me and hiding behind a bush. It stared at me and looked around when I took out my camera, keeping eye contact with the first wild puma i’d seen in my life. He seemed at ease, assesing the situation, but I wasn’t sure how happy he was with scaring away his lunch. I heard the screeching cry of the guanacos behind me. Through the excitement I fiddled between video and stills mode. We stared at each for some brief moments after he walked away casually.

Torres del Paine national park is know for it’s iconic steep mountain range and crystal blue fresh water lakes. I found it worth to make a detour back into Chile, but it was this special meeting that made it special.