Larapinta Day 18 (LAST DAY)

Day 18 Red Bank Gorge to Mt. Sonder (Return)

We got up at 2:30am and leaving camp at 2:45am, the hike up to Mt. Sonder to watch the sunrise as part of our final goodbye to the beautiful trail we spent our 18 days living simply on. Arriving at the peak by 5:20am the wind was so cold that the layers we had on were not enough. Our fingers and toes were in pain as the cold wind bit through the material of our clothes. We were waiting for an hour and a half for the sunrise. As the rays of the sun began to peek from the horizon, many day tour group hikers started pouring through. They crowded around each other for warmth, making a lot of noise on top of a mountain waiting for the sunrise.  By 7am the sun had mostly risen, we had taken enough selfies. We promptly left the noise of day tourists behind us walking down and watching the shadow of Mt. Sonder retreat from view.

Arriving back to camp at 9am, we packed all of our things and got ready for the car, we excitedly discussed what we would do once the bus picked us up. We could get food from Ormiston, and snacks from Standley as we retrieved our food drops. By that time, the bus was overdue and by thirty minutes. We realized there was a chance the bus might not come.

After a worried GPS text sent to Eddy, he checked and confirmed that the transport company thought they weren’t picking us up until tomorrow!

Eddy was able to get them to arrange transport for pick up at 2:30pm that day instead, as well as confirmed the hotel booking was on the correct date. Thankfully it was! I was greatful to have my InReach Explorer with the ability to send texts as there was no reception to contact the transport company.

The bus finally rolled in and we took full advantage of the stops to retrieve our tubs to also pick up our desired food. I, of course, went overboard with pie, coke, banana, and ice cream from Ormiston, then more ice cream from Standley Chasm.

Organising lessons for next time:

  • Print bookings receipts along with the itinerary for the trip
  • Keep receipts during the trip.

Written by Jay Sims

Edited by Alex Hay