Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV) Inspired Adventure to Larapinta
13 July 2012: Twitter updated from Indigenous Community Volunteers
12 July 2012: Update from Helen
“The ICV trekking group has made it to the top of Counts Point, Alice Valley, NT 1150mtrs. Go team ICV!”
Blog 2: From the Summit of Mt Sonder – Helen (Inspired Adventures) 10 July 2012 (Trek Day 2): Written on the top of Mt Sonder… It was early to bed last night for our 4am start this morning. The task – to climb Mt Sonder, the “Pregnant Lady”- all 1,380 metres of her. It was -3 degrees last night and about 1 degree while we ate porridge before embarking on the climb. It took 4.5 hrs to do the 8km walk up and we are about to start the 8km back down in a few minutes from now. The air is crisp, the view is stunning and everyone is feeling on top of the world. It was so worth the climb and I’m feeling very proud of team ICV!
“Mt Sonder (‘The Pregnant Lady’) is one of the tallest mountains in the Northern Territory and is host to one of the most spectacular sunrises in the world. The climb up to the summit will leave you breathless and the 360° views will render you speechless.” Larapinta Destination Guide
9 July 2012 (Trek Day 1): The 17 strong ICV Walkabout for Change group rolled out of Alice at 8am yesterday in a Troupee and truck; swags on the roof, packs in the back and 80 litres of water and food to keep us going til Friday. First stop Ormiston Pound – a 9km walk through stunning scenery and rock formations. A rock climb and very cold water crossing got us to the end by 4:30pm and to our campsite at Glen Helen by 5pm. Swags set and fire ablaze we ate chicken stir-fry cooked in the camp stove. Amazing! Blog 1: From the coast to the Red Centre – Helen (Inspired Adventures) 8 July 2012: Here I am sitting on the tarmac at Sydney Airport about to fly to Alice Springs to start the Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV) Larapinta Trekin a few days time. After not being in Alice Springs for 21 years, I was looking forward to seeing it again, but first I had to cross the desert… Flying from Sydney to the Red Centre reminds you just how vast and diverse this great country is. We quickly lost the blue and yellow coast line, to view the top of the green mountain ranges, which slowly turned to sandy plains, which in turn became the never ending red desert, punctuated with white salt pans of dried up lakes and rivers. The trees and towns disappeared and I found myself mesmerised by the ripples of red sand and little else below. Suddenly the wheels go down and you wonder what one will find in the middle of all this aridness; the answer is Alice Springs officially gazetted as so in 1933 (before that it was known as Stuart). The Alice as it is locally known is actually semi arid and has one of the highest rain falls in the country however, due to high evaporation and erratic rainfalls, it is classified as desert country.
Now with a population of 28,000 people, ‘The Alice’ didn’t seem to have changed since I was there all those years ago. Suddenly I felt like I was in the real Australia, where cultures and people collide and we all share the same footpaths and become one population. However, it was still abundantly clear to me that as true as the famous Alice ‘Gap’ (the gap is shown at the end of the main street in the photo above – it’s a natural divide in the ranges and the main road runs north to south through it so the town is split into north of the gap and south of the gap), there is still a ‘gap’ in this outback society. Here I am tucked up in my warm hotel room when outside there are little fires glowing along the dried up river bed of the Todd River where some of the local Aboriginal families are outside trying to keep warm in what has just been announced as the coldest winter Alice has seen in 10 years. Some may say its their choice, but I don’t know enough to agree or not, all I can see is an inequality and it’s right here in the same country as where that big blue coastline exists. I decided before I came that I didn’t want to just repeat what I did two decades ago. This time I’d see something different and I chose Kings Canyon as my day-trip of choice. It was an awesome choice too; rising 270 metres from the desert, this canyon sits North East of its more famous cousin Uluru and the Olgas (the latter can be seen from a certain vantage point from the canyon). The canyon is spectacular and certainly has lots of wow factors.
Today was time to remind myself of some of the history which has been made here… The Royal Flying Doctors Service and School of the Air being just two if them – both of them inspiring and both just go to underline the differences in living in the remote outback of Australia. They make up the life of these far flung communities, making it possible for them to live safely and with a childhood education which people on the coast take for granted. So now it’s Sunday and half of my ICV trekking group are here already (the rest will arrive later today). Combined, they represent almost every State in Australia and will slowly touch down over the course of the day, finally meeting each other out our welcome briefing tonight. Tomorrow we will be off to begin our trek of 5 out if the 12 sections of the great Larapinta track in the West MacDonnell Ranges. It’s going to be cold at night but I’m looking forward to the camp fire conversations; the sharing of stories and cultures and the forming of friendships while we experience so of the most amazing scenery this country has to offer. Bring it on! Helen [Blog 1; Walkabout for Change; 8 July 2012]
TEAM ICV 2012:
- Helen (Inspired Adventures Tour Escort)
- Stephanie (ICV CEO), Briallen, Dennis, Glenda, Sara, Fiona, Jodie, Desanka, Sue, Nonie, Tim, Mike, Kaely, Alisha, Lynne, Frances and Mellisa.
Blogs from the 2012 Walkabout for Change
- Blog 1: From the coast to the Red Centre
- Blog 2: From the Summit of Mt Sonder
- Live updates on our Twitter feed: @inspiredadvntrs
- More about Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV)
- Read more about ‘The Pregnant Lady’ and the trek on our Larapinta Destination Guide
- Visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar and find a Charity Challenge perfect for you.