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  • Day90

    Larapinta Trail, Alice Springs

    June 30, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Larapinta Trail
    We packed up camp this morning. Everything we had with us was coming on the hike plus an additional 3.5 litres of water each so our packs were really heavy and wouldn’t get much lighter as we would regularly have to refill our water.

    Dropping off the car and getting to the trail head was a bit of a hassle but we ended up being dropped off in town and walked 3.5km to the trail head. The first day took us from the town centre to Telegraph Station to Wallaby Gap. It was 17 km of flat walking in the hot sun. We did climb a small ridge right before camp that gave us our first good look of the MacDonnell Ranges. The trail conditions also got greener as we went along. A lot more vegetation than we expected. I thought initially it was going to be more of a stark desert walk but it was far from that. We didn't run into anyone along the way but shared our camp with 3 other individuals. One was finishing his 12 day trek and had done the whole trail. The other 2 we would run into multiple times further up the trail. Everyone we met on the trail was Australian and most were trying to do the whole 230km trail or as much as possible.

    Didn't sleep very well the first night. I think our bodies we overly fatigued. The next day we got up for sunrise and set out from Wallaby Gap to Mulga Camp. The trail was flat again today but long. We walked 26km in total and find the trail really hard on the feet as the sole of our feet are getting quite sore. The rocks are unforgiving. That night was the only day we were bothered by a few mosquitos. Otherwise, the trek was pretty much bug free.

    Day 3 we travelled from Mulga Camp to Miller Flat. It was 18km. For the last 4 km we elected to take the high ridge route that took us up and down a 400 meter ridge. The climb and descent we very technical and you really had to watch your foot placement. Lots of lose rocks and scrambling. This is where the track started to get fun. The views at the top of the ridge were worth the extra effort. We camped at Miller flat at the bottom on the ridge. We were all by ourselves it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere for the first time, it was great. We were located in a flat surround by high mountain ranges. The nights have been very quiet. I would have expected to hear more sounds.

    We awoke to a beautiful sunny day. It was chilly last night, got down close to 0. The plan was to head from Miller Flat to Brinkley Bluff via Standley Chasm. Today’s walk started with creek bed walking which actually sucks because it is so easy to roll your ankle on all grapefruit sized round rocks. The creek came to a head and we had a fun up a small canyon which was really cool. On arrival at Standley Chasm Rebecca was able to treat herself to a coffee as this is a popular tourist spot that people can drive to from Alice Springs. After a nice break we hit the road to climb up to Brinkley Bluff. The climb was rated very hard and we were a little nervous but ended up being much easier than the prior day’s high ridge route. Rebecca was practically running up the hill after getting a coffee. The last kilometre was tiring but what a campsite! Situated 1,200 meters up at a high point in the surrounding ranges we really were camping on the top of a mountain. We arrived at camp early and had a long afternoon to relax. These are usually the times I injure myself while bored. I passed the time by making a table and chairs out of rocks. 15km hiked today.

    4 other people enjoyed the Bluff with us that night. We had crossed tracks with 3 of them in the prior 4 days and enjoyed a final sunset and chatting.

    The wind picked up a little through the night and shock the tent but was relatively calm overall. A clear morning revealed a final perfect sunrise. We retraced our tracks back to Standley Chasm. An easy 10km downhill. Could practically run without any food or water in our packs. It was interesting planning for this trip because we had to consider water consumption and where each fill up spot was located. We were probably more hydrated on the first day of the hike then the entire 3 month of this trip.

    We were picked up in Standley Chasm and walked into town for a beer. We finished the night at the tavern beside our camp ground.

    All in all a really great trip. We both kind of wish we did the whole trail but it’s probably better we only did 5 days as I am limping pretty good.
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