Day 7 – Birthday Waterhole to Hugh Gorge Shelter
Temperature dropped to 1 degree at 4/5am, everyone felt it and struggled to keep warm until the morning.
Walked to the waterhole and saw that the Larapinta Trekkers support company have the place set up with swags, showers and a 4WD camper kitchen.
Bumped into two female hikers we met from Standley Chasm. They were camping at the same waterhole, they kindly offered us cake that was made from the tour guides from Larapinta Trekkers Support Company.
We arrived at the highest point of the day by lunch time after an arduous hike and boulder climb from the river bed. Full body exercise. The summit was exposed with some sketchy ridge line crossings.
We went to Hugh waterhole which was a difficult 30 minute walk containing bursts of multi-coloured river rocks before reaching a the warm glow of the waterhole from the afternoon sun. Trish and I decided to test the waters by running in waist deep before freezing where I stood. Only to be shown up by Trish diving in. We very quickly realised the icy temperatures and ran out before the numbing cold of the water cooled our cores.
We decided the head to the campsite which we realised was about an hour and 45 minutes away, it was 4pm by that time. The entrance to the water hole quickly filled with several groups of hikes from Mt Sonder and a couple we camped with at the Birthday Waterhole campsite the night before.
We met a man on the way to the campsite with fully duct taped leather boots. The glue on his soles was separating and he had to duct tape and glue them back together. He advised that Alison, a female hiking solo from Mt Sonder would be waiting for us and looking forward to the company.
We met Alison at the campsite by night fall, she was glad to see us and discussed the trail we have each seen so far. Just as we’re getting ready for bed we hear dingoes howling. Alison was very grateful to have us around…
Hugh Gorge Shelter
- Shelter with two platforms and 4x Solar USB charging ports in food cub board
- Two large rainwater tanks
- One outdoor toilet
Note: Guthook hiking app says that Hugh campsite is 98 km away. However I believe we have hiked longer than that with our side trails and the trek from Alice Springs, but this is still our longest unsupported hike achieved.
Other GPS Apps, Earthmate in conjunction with Inreach Explorer Plus, allows ease of texting via app to GPS device. Highly recommend yet has been invaluable for this trip for me personally. Awful weather forecast (wind sun and moon symbols, what a joke)