Two years ago I developed an obsession with travel, since then I've had a lot of adventures and visited many countries, but nothing quite compares to a trip I took this past year. In August, I decided to tackle my first ever solo thru-hike (actually my first thru-hike too). I had heard about a trail in central Australia called the Larapinta and was drawn to walking it. The trail is roughly 240 kms following a mountain range called the West MacDonnells. I walked the trail in 18 days in heat ranging from 50 to 95 degrees. The wildlife was unbelievable, I saw many species of beautiful birds, lizards, flies, snakes, dingoes, kangaroos, wallabies, flies, and did I mention more flies? And the landscape was stunning. While I anticipated finding a vast desert, I actually found sheltered waterholes, lush green gorges, sandy riverbeds, wispy forests, stunning white ghost gum trees, and rocky mountain peaks. I enjoyed deep orange sunsets and pastel sunrises, a little different each day. The days passed slowly, a simple routine of taking down camp, walking, eating, and setting up camp again. There were moments when I was scared but many more moments when I was happy. And I was always too hot every day until the sun went down. On the last morning, I watched the sunrise illuminate the lands that I had just spent over two weeks crossing, and I felt an incredible sense of appreciation for this beautiful place and the good fortune in my own life that brought me to experience it.
Last light with Mt Sonder in the distanceDay 1 - starting the LarapintaA rainbow bee eater birdMy camp on Brinkley BluffProtection from the fliesSection 9 - Sonder in the distanceA desert roseViews from Brinkley BluffThe final sunrise from atop Mt SonderFirst lighting hitting Mt Sonder