After an evening of superb food, great company and sleeping under the stars in the riverbed in my swag, albiet with plenty of merino wool to keep me warm and not overthinking how close those dingo howls were it was time for Day Two of my Larapinta Trail experience
The full 223km of the Larapinta Trail spans between the Old Telegraph Station and Mt Sonder. Day 2 took us to the Ormiston Gorge to trek the Ormiston Pound circuit. Regarded as one of the best walks of the Larapinta Trail it offers sensational views of the Chewings Range and Mount Giles. It can be a little challenging with some rock hopping and takes approximately four hours to complete. Setting off, the trail winds around scenic slopes, dropping into the Pound and returning along Ormiston Gorge via the main waterhole. We also took the detour to Ghost Gum Lookout.
Ormiston is also a sacred site for the Western Arrernte people. It’s name in Western Arrernte is Kwartatuma.
First port of call was the snack bar and there in the middle was my ideal weight maintenance nemesis – chocolate bullets. I wish I could say I stayed strong and resisted the temptation but I would be fibbing. You will be pleased to know I did also grab a couple of bananas.
We made it to the top of the Pound Walk savouring the beautiful weather
Our wonderful guide Clare pointed out all the highlights as far as the eye can see
There were plenty of opportunities for me to practice my rock hopping
I’ll bet this young lady regretted doing it in thongs. OMG
Clare leads the way to the Ghost Gum Lookout
Where the view was indeed outstanding – though I must admit I kept away from the overhanging edge
then the girls (sans Lynne) braved the chilly waters and took a dip or two
and at the end of the day I was smiling from ear to ear with a very sunburnt nose tip
Bring on Day 3
Joy is what makes life beautiful. It’s what gets us through challenges and allows light in to illuminate the shadows. Joy heals our wounds, inspires us to greatness, and fills our souls with goodness.
I signed up for the Inner Compass 4 Day Larapinta Trail Trek to help put the joy back in my life. And you know what my ‘Get out in Nature’ with some inspiring people beyond the agriculture sector may just be the smartest thing I have done in recent times.
Our little group of six got to see the views most tourists don’t even know exist. Trek Larapinta ( what an awesome customer service business they are) has built relationships with the traditional land owners who generously provide non-indigenous Australians ( and overseas visitors) with genuine cultural awareness experiences and access to some very special places.
Meet Trek Larapinta Guide and Aboriginal woman Deanella Mack. Dee took us into her world through her storylines and humour that made her people and their culture so real to me. You can find out more about Dee and her business Cultural Connections here
Dee sees that a system that has failed Aboriginal people in Central Australia for generations has also failed non-Indigenous people in how they learn about or appreciate Aboriginal cultures, histories and concepts.
She believes cultural misunderstandings, often come with the best intentions and as being “like when you’re driving a car and you feel something’s wrong but you don’t know how to fix it. Others may not even think anything’s wrong.” Those that have had the most positive experiences in her sessions and went on to positively impact communities later were “open-minded and had the willingness to receive new info that may not sit well with their current beliefs and experiences”. Source
Dee welcomes us to country
Dee shares with us the making of hunting spear
With that new appreciation of the landscape our group became earnest learners listening and looking with new eyes
Amongst many other things we learnt to recognise the male and female cycad and the seed
Standley Chasm is a very beautiful place
You can see what the tourists see
Or you can follow Section 3 of the Larapinta Trail and go where the hikers go
If you go with Trek Larapinta you see and do and feel even more
Its one thing to see the beauty of Standley Chasm from the front but when you get the opportunity to come in the back door its an experience you will treasure for ever
Lynne was a very happy camper
“These days the knowledge around cross-cultural awareness is at your finger tips, so ignorance is no longer an excuse.” Dee Mack