A guest on a recent End to End Larapinta Trail trek sent us an amazing thank you letter for his “Experience of a Lifetime”. We thought we’d share some of his thoughts – thanks Ian!
I think Trek Larapinta has got it right. Splitting the first section into 2 parts allowed us to get our walking legs going before tackling the next 4 very tough sections. Brad’s decision to save the Ormiston Pound walk until the penultimate stage was a good one. It is a relatively easy but visually spectacular walk and was the perfect lead-in to Mount Sonder.
Our Guides – Brad Dean and Andrew Larner.
Richard described them as the A team. In my humble opinion they were the AAA team. I can’t see how we could have got a better team. Both are extremely experienced guides. Brad guided us on the walks. His knowledge of the Trail, its geology, flora, fauna and aboriginal significance was excellent. His briefings were succinct but always prepared us for the day ahead. As he got to know us he allowed the group some latitude without getting too far apart.
Andrew was our man back at camp. He did all the hard work setting up the various camp sites, getting supplies, making sure that we were sticking to our timetable (well reasonably close, some of us were always a bit tardy) and best of all, preparing the meals. He is a superb cook. Every meal was different. My favourites were the roast lamb and the lasagne.
Nothing was too much trouble for either of them.
For the first two nights we slept in our swags in the open. These happened to be the coldest nights of the walk. After that we put up our tents as we did have some overnight rain at times. The swags were warm and reasonably comfortable. The tents were excellent. They were easy to erect and dismantle and had plenty of space and sufficient head room. The tents at the Finke River were palatial.
Andrew’s site selection meant that we were always well away from other walkers and in some magical spots in or near river beds. Having 2 nights at each of Rocky Gully and Serpentine Chalet was a good move. The camp on the Finke River is in a superb spot.
Meals and snacks
I have already mentioned the evening meals. I was amazed at the lunch food that Brad carried in his pack. It was always something to look forward to. The scroggin was excellent.
In no particular order, Brinkleys Bluff, Razorback, Counts Point, Ormiston Pound and sunrise on Mount Sonder were my visual highlights.
The real highlight was the way the whole group including Brad and Andrew came together. It was gratifying to see how each person was always looking out for the others and providing assistance where necessary. The conversations around the evening campfire were most entertaining.
Richard described the walk as “the experience of a lifetime”. I could not agree more. It was tough, rough, difficult, visually spectacular and overall the best walk I have done. My thanks go to my walking companions and Brad, Andrew, Richard, Kym and the rest of the Trek Larapinta team for making this such an enjoyable experience.