July 30th 2017
We have had a lovely day exploring two more Gorges along the West MacDonnell Ranges. Firstly we visited Ellery Creek Big Hole which is a most popular place with both a Camping Area and Day Visitor facilities. From here we walked the Dolomite Track which is 3 km in length. It follows the Larapinta Trail for 1 kilometre and then loops around the hills and returns to the Camping area. It was rocky rough but with my faithful stick I managed the distance quite well. The close view of the country, the rocks and plants was part of the pleasure.
Last year, at about this time, Cynthia and David walked the 240 km long Larapinta Trail. It took them about 12 days from memory. When I see the West MacDonnell Ranges in reality it makes me realise what a mammoth effort it was..beginning in Alice Springs and finishing at Redbank Gorge and climbing Mt Sonder which is a stately mountain overlooking the whole range. It is not the highest mountain in the Northern Territory as this honour goes to nearby Mt Zeil.
Early afternoon we walked the 1.1 km, from the Carpark, to see Serpentine Gorge. I found the walk a little arduous as the day was quite hot. Unexpectantly , we found the Gorge to be quite Spiritual. There were over a dozen people there and everyone was totally quiet. So quiet that we felt we were waiting for the music to begin. We both found the experience to be totally remarkable.
|Mini Richie Bark|
Now where to Camp? We drove up to the Henderson Lookout to see the view..the sign said ‘Twenty-four hour camping allowed’…So here we are up on high for the night with a magnificent view of the West MacDonnell Ranges. There is a ‘Hot Spot’ up here so we can gain telephone connection so we were able to ring Cynthia. With the help of the Dongle I am able to 'Post' a couple of blogs..but no photos.
These Ranges are very different with so many rocks visible along the top and side of the hills. In places there is little or no soil and only a few trees and spinifex in view. John has coined the phrase ‘the bones of the earth’ are visible! It is an apt expression. I can see a long snake or dinosaur making its way along the tops of the mountains.