Date: Monday 14/07/2014
Weather: Overcast and cool
Distance covered 13.8km
Start: Ellery Creek (Section 7)
Finish: Serpentine Gorge
We were picked up by Trek Larapinta to transfer our small party to our starting point along the Larapinta trail. The rain was easing, so hopeful that it will have cleared by the time we arrive at Ellery Creek, half-way along the Larapinta trail and the start of our little adventure.
With the weather finally clearing we made the final adjustments to our packs, group photo and then headed off. Our spirits had been elevated due to the fact that on the notice board at Ellery creek was an advertisement for a “tuck” shop at Ormiston Gorge making the bold claim of having the best coffee between Ormiston Gorge and Alice Springs. Whilst a bold claim, it is probably a safe claim due to the fact that there isn’t much in the way of competition in between! Spurred on by the thought of a coffee a day earlier than originally expected we hit the trail. The timer in my head had started ticking down the 4 days until my next coffee!
Whilst both Jenny and I have had the opportunity to explore the West MacDonnell Ranges a number of years back, we were still in awe of its raw rugged beauty! Whilst mostly overcast for the rest of the day, we didn’t experience any more rain. Today marks a significant milestone for our trekking adventures as we now carry “the lot!” The Camino (read our much earlier posts) only needed us to carry our clothing and sleeping gear (admittedly to cover 5 weeks). New Zealand Milford and Routeburn tracks had us add all food and cooking equipment and now we also have added sleeping mats and a tent. Surprisingly we managed to squeeze this all in to our 40-45Ltr “Camino” (Aarn) backpacks!!! We also managed to keep our packs to under 15Kg. A little different from the 8-10Kg carried on the Camino.
Out on the trail, you tend to bump into people along the way and swap your experiences. Today we met a group travelling the trail from West to East (opposite direction to us). They marvelled at how clean we looked until they realised we had only been on the trail for a number of hours, rather than the many days they had been on the track. They had also had to “tough” it out through the cold front from the day before and had to navigate through lots of red mud as a result of it.
We were rewarded for our days walk with spectacular views of Serpentine Gorge (Although a 20min climb was required on top of our days walk, but had the luxury of leaving our backpacks back at camp). Fortunately the ground for our camp site had started firming up from after the rain, but still required strategic site choice and preparation using dead undergrowth to absorb any potential dampness. With our tent erected and dinner consumed it was time to call it a day!
Check out the photo gallery – Click Here!