Monday, August 22, 2016

West MacDonnell Ranges

We had a relatively late start from Alice Springs, were we did the last minute shopping for fresh fruit and vegatables.

There was no reason to rush, because the road from Alice to Glen Helen is a very comfortable sealed road. So we could meander into some of the gorges. The first was Standley Chasm. Recent rain around the Central desert areas ensured that all had lots of water in them.

Ellery Creek Bighole had so much water, that unlike the previous occasion we were unable to walk to the cliff edges!

Ellery Creek Bighole

Serpentine Gorge was much less crowded as quite a deal of walking is required to get into it. We decided that it was really worthwhile to go to the lookout. So with Peter scrambling and using a stick we reached the top. Magnificent view, but unfortunately forgot to take the camera.

The Ochre Pits were interesting, many different colours of ochres, and a sealed walking path for everyone to take. Not far to walk, so again lots of people.

Glen Helen

Fortunately we had pre-booked our campsite and meal at the Glen Helen Homestead before we left Alice Springs because all the campsites and meals were fully booked.

The Larapinta Run was being held from Glen Helen, so there were queues for the smorgesbourg dinner of hundreds of runners and their support teams and officials. The runners etc had booked all the tented accommodation, caravan sites, homestead rooms and most of the unpowered sites as well.

The race started at 7.00am so the noise started from about 5.00am with talking doors slamming etc. On some campsites there were more than 5 people so it was high density living at its worst with only 4 toilets and 4 showers for women and same for men, but with all those huge numbers if people! Some runners found themselves late because of the queues to the bathrooms. Some runners had come totally unprepared, expecting the homstead to have breakfast laid on at 5.00am, having brought no food or provisions with them!

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