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Published: July 20th 2022
A very, very cold night, however we were extra prepared for it and as a result slept comfortably. Two rangers checked our camping permit and we good to go!
We laced up our hiking boots and walked the classed moderately difficult Mpaara trail which introduced us to the mythology of the Western Arrernte Aboriginal culture. We walked in a clockwise direction to follow the Mpaara dreaming story of the Tawny Frogmouth Man and the Pangkalanga Devil Man. The rocky track followed the base of the hills and then abruptly took us up a steep incline to the lookout where the views of the Finke River and Kalarranga area were superb. On the southern side of the lookout the track was very steep and uneven as it descended to the valley floor. We took extra care so not to come to grief taking to our backsides a few times to slide down a couple of near 90-degree sections.
The Finke River is one of the oldest rivers in the world and like many rivers in Central Australia, appear to be just a dry riverbed. It is generally a broad sandy riverbed with waterholes dotted along its length. There are nine
permanent water holes along the route, important sources of water for local wildlife.
We returned to our camp after 3.5 hrs of flat walking, ascending and descending, had the pre-prepared lunch, packed up and headed slowly to Hermannsburg, 20km away, our camp for the night. The mesmerising landscapes of the Finke Gorge National Park inspired the renowned Aboriginal watercolourist Albert Namatjira who was born and grew up in Hermannsburg.
We are quite tired and ready to sleep. Another awesome day ahead tomorrow.
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