Monday, July 7, 2014

Day 3: 9km, a swim, and new food

By this stage, we were beginning to get into the swing of hiking, but it was definitely a relief to have a little visit with Civilisation at Ormiston Gorge to ease the transition. It was a pretty short walk, but there were some nice scenes along the way.

We're pretty sure that's flood debris up in that tree. Hello, 3 m deep floods....

Welcome to New Mexi- I mean, Australia. Also, can you spot Mt Sonder waaaay back there, watching over us?

Ormiston Gorge was our first example of the waterholes we would continue to find on our trek. On the Larapinta, there are plenty of narrow valleys cutting through the MacDonnell ranges where the rainwater collects, and the gorges shade the water enough that it doesn't insta-evaporate like water in New Mexico does. Thus, the water sticks around for a lot longer, and is cold. So cold. Frigid, arctic, put-a-toe-in-and-scream, cold. It continually suprised me that I didn't see ice floes in these waterholes. 
Ormiston Gorge from above, at about 3pm. No more sunshine.

The edge of the water.
Despite the temperatures, my fellow hikers rater insan- I mean, gamely dove into the water for a little wash and swim.
The SuperAussie and GrownUpFriend washing their clothes whilst still wearing them.

D, possibly contemplating hypothermia.

Ormiston Gorge was our first food drop, which was pretty exciting. Food, of course, was a big deal for a trip this long, so D and I spent a lot of time planning and preparing our meals. Because we had the luxury of using food drops, usually at places which also had trash bins, we planned to have a few exciting "heavy" meals. I wouldn't want to carry a can of fruit (or the empty can afterwards) in my backpack for four days/60 km, but as a breakfast after reaching a food drop, where I could toss or even recycle it before I left, it was fantastic. It was particularly heavenly to have naan and madras lentils (that boil-in-the-bag kind) for dinner at Ormiston Gorge, and our fellow hikers were impressed enough about the delicious smell to ask about it extensively.

On all the other, "lightweight" days, our menu looked like this:
Breakfast: muesli/granola (with hot water, to warm up in the morning)
Lunch: Tortillas, with either 
1] homemade, dehydrated hummus (so.awesome.), 
2] salmon (from a foil packet. Mmmm, oily.), or 
3] peanut butter and jelly. 
          1] nuts, dried fruit (~100 g/day to share, in a “snack” sized ziploc)
          2] beef jerky (only 100g/drop box to share)
          3] chocolate (1 bar/drop box to share)
Dinner: one of our dehydrated meals (more on these later, if you dear readers express interest).

Our drop boxes also contained a treat or two, like an orange, plus two instant soup packets, and powdered almond pudding stuff (which was super yummy in muesli).

Better than Christmas.

Madras lentils, me, GrownUpFriend, the Colonel, SuperAussie, and the Englishman.
More to come...

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