We spend two days completing section 6 of the trail earning a few well deserved easier days as we cross the Alice Valley. Slowly moving away from the Chewings Range, we lose sight of familiar ground and a new landscape appears as we pass through the Heavitree Range, taking our first few footsteps on younger earth. The first night’s camp is at Rocky Gully with the second night spent at Serpentine Chalet bush camp.
Day 7 16km/7hr walk
With 4 particularly big days of walking (and boulder hopping), haven’t had the time or energy to write anything. The last 3 nights we’ve enjoyed some time in tents – firstly in the standing that Trek Larapinta (the company we’re hiking with) has at Standley Chasm, followed by our little one man tents set up next to each other on the “beach” at birthday waterhole. The group decided to stay at the waterhole for 2 nights as it was so beautiful – just meant being transported in the Troopy on a ROUGH road from Hugh Gorge! (gee, these guides know how to handle a 4WD!). Was worth the trip to see the brumbies along the way.
Today was a pretty easy “off” day as we began our meander across from the Chewings Range to the Heavitree Range. There was even a little wooden platform along the way where we could sit – a change from rocks and river beds We finish the section tomorrow, having stopped off in Rocky Gully for the night. We’re sharing the camp (and fire) with another group tonight, so a bit full. Atmosphere a little different and our “tribe” has been bonding well and it’s weird to have others around. We’ve set our swags up a little close to the toilet tent. Oops!
I never get blisters but the ups and downs over the ridges together with the boulder hopping has done a great job of causing blisters in odd places on my feet – ouch!! The tough days were so worth it, despite the slips off rocks and into the water (and a few tears). Absolutely spectacular!! Nothing hurt except my pride. Rod Joyce, you were right – the trail is full of rocks!! Little wonder my boots lost their soles at the end of the 25+km of Section 2 (day 3). Good thing I have a spare pair (thanks Mom!!).
Looking forward to another easy day again tomorrow before settling into the bush camp at Serpentine Chalet for the following 3 nights. Will probably go for a couple of tents again. The wind seems to howl through at 3am every morning and I’m happy to avoid it. I’m convinced my cheeks are going to get frost bite!
The food has been amazing. Porridge every morning served with good strong plunger coffee – a local brew from Alice Springs called Duyu. Lunch on the trail is a spread (on a picnic blanket) of wraps / rolls and salad – although I think we’re running out before the next trip into town to do the re-stock. Dark Lindt chocolate brings every lunch to an end before we hit the trail for the afternoon. Adam & Jill seem to compete as to who can cook the best evening meal. Followed by dessert! I’ve never eaten so may snacks – bananas, trail mix & muesli bars. Not sure how fat I’ll be going home or how I’ll adjust to normal meals again.
Hopefully the flies disappear soon! (it turned out that the flies weren’t too bad the whole trip and we didn’t even bring out our fly nets – YAY!).
Once again, a couple of bonus km brought the day’s total up to 18km.
You can watch a summary of our day 7 adventures here.