Leaving for Larapinta

My dogs know. They always know. They pick up on my increasingly frantic energy that builds and builds until I explode out the door, shove my too many things into the car and make my way to the airport. I get more and more scatter brained as departure time looms, they get sadder and sadder, lying so low on their beds that they sink right in and become part of the fabric. They knew even before the suitcase was pulled out, and my bags and bags of hiking gear spread across every available surface to find all the little bits of very important stuff and things that I will carry on my back. They are sensitive little souls.
Somehow this scatter brained woman has managed to bid her fluffy cuddle monsters goodbye, get herself on a plane and is flying above the clouds and the great big desert centre of Australia- destination Alice Springs.
I’m hiking the Larapinta Trail, planning 10 days for the 231km from Mount Sonder to Alice Springs through Tjoritja / West Macdonnell ranges which forms part of the land of the traditional owners the Arrernte people. The ranges are full of beautiful gorges, lots of rocks and some water holes, hopefully with enough water for some cheeky midday reprieves from the sun which is forecast to be averaging around 29 degrees for the hike. It’s going to be very exposed and the rocky ground will be hard on my wimpy feet, slithery things that shall not be named (Volde-slithers?) will possibly be out (but being ‘winter’ hopefully not too many!), and the water is available only in tanks spread across the trail. But the views! I’m so excited about looking out into the forever that stretches across the red centre. And the stars!!! I’ve packed my little tarp, but I’m hoping for cowboy camping (just sleeping on a ground sheet with no tent) every night. I’m coming for you milky way.
I’m hiking with my friend Turtle, and together we have assembled the most exciting 10 days of trail food I have had on a long hike! Most of my long distance hiking has been done overseas, which means I haven’t been able to make my own food. This time our kitchens and dehydrators have been working overtime, and we have coconut curry, lentil bolognese, tempeh stir fry, and tofu chili for dinners, re fried beans and macadamia/ almond butters (special Snakebite awesome recipe) for lunch, home made ‘clif bars’ plus nuts, nori and other tasty bits and pieces for snacks. Hiking nutrition level – expert 😉

A few more hours of flying to ponder all the things I have forgotten, an overnight in Alice, then it’s go time! 🙂
View of the salt lakes outside Alice Springs from the plane.