On Top of The World: The South West

Tuesday 4th February
Thankfully the long 500km drive to the Stirling Ranges was uneventful. I was sitting near the front and spent the time updating the blog which i was behind with whilst also playing the enigma puzzle game called ‘bolted’. Eventually i remember i moved up to the seat next to Nicole to help Baz put a play list together. I don’t remember where we stopped for our toilet breaks but what I do remember quite clearly is the way the Stirling Ranges just appeared to suddenly rise up from the ground. The sunset also looked quite spectacular however unfortunately we couldn’t quite get a photo of it because there wasn’t a convenient pull over place.

Whilst it was getting late the intention was to have dinner at our campsite at Mt Trio Farm Retreat where we arrived just as it was getting dark. We were all well drilled in what was needed and it wasn’t long before everything required was unloaded and Craig was cooking on the BBQ. We had electricity and showers again so made use of the facilities before settling down for dinner and drinks.

Craig had a special mug which kept tea hot and beer cool and when we were unpacking he noticed it had gone missing. I think i speak for us all when i say all the group felt bad. Even though none of us had touched it, we know what it’s like to have possessions that are important to you when travelling. I don’t mean the electronic items as such, more the items that remind you of home. Personally I have a lucky coin that was given to me by Caroline 3 years ago when I last went to Australia and everyday I check to make sure it hasn’t slipped out of my wallet. It’s the little things that make you feel connected and for Craig the mug was even more important because it was limited addition and a birthday present.

I spent that night sleeping under the stars again in a Swag but as I was tired i didn’t take any pictures of the night sky above which I felt bad about the next morning as it was almost like I was taking it all for granted.

Wednesday 5th February
Whilst we had missed out on the planned main walk up Mt Bluff in the Stirling Ranges, we were up early again to ensure we had a full day of activities. Our first activity of the day was a walk to Castle Rock in the Porongurup National Park.

After 2 days of walking I had anticipated my legs would be up for the challenge but despite starting off at the front my muscles began to ache and I decided to go at a more realistic pace. It wasn’t as steep or strenuous as Frenchman’s Peak but it was longer and a fantastic way to start the day as it was still before 7am. I made it to the top and saw the ‘Balancing Rock’ a 6m high granite boulder weighing 186 tonnes resting on a base about 13sq ft.

Next I decided to climb to the top of the more challenging walk to the top of the Granite Skywalk. This involved scrambling up rocks (there were hand and foot holders to help) and a ladder but the view was worth it. I made my way back down and headed for the easier Karri lookout which was rather underwhelming compared to what I’d just seen slightly higher up. Perhaps I should have done them the other way around.

We then drove to the Gap and Natural Bridge lookout in the Torndirrup National Park. The Gap is a 24 metre chasm and when the sea is rough, powerful sprays can be seen however like at Whalers Way it was relatively calm. The Natural Bridge is a large span of granite that has been eroded forming an archway. I was tempted to walk right to the end and thought I could see some of the others but then realised it was another mini bus load and that everyone had already headed back so it was a good job I didn’t.

We stopped in a small town called Denmark for some snacks and a second breakfast before continuing on to the Valley of the Giants. I’d read about this area in my Bill Bryson book and i had been pleasantly surprised when I’d realised we were visiting this unique area. The tree top walk reaching 40m in the air among the giant Tingles trees was captivating. The Red tingle is unique to the Walpole Wilderness and has big buttresses whilst the Yellow tingle has slimmer buttresses. The trees are amongst the biggest in the world and it was amazing to be as high as the canopy whilst the Ancient Empire walk gave a great ground level perspective.

We stopped in Walpole for lunch before carrying on to the Diamond Tree located 17km from Pemberton. The giant Karri tree is 52m high and we were given the option to climb to the lookout at the top. I’ve done a lot of crazy things over the past few months and I had little hesitation in deciding I wanted to try it. The first section was easy enough but the middle section was near vertical and as the ground gradually became further away I started to wonder what I was doing. By now up was the only real option and eventually I reached a ladder taking me in to the fire lookout platform which was built in 1939 making it the oldest lookout still in use today. As i got to the top Marco commented I looked white, and it took a few minutes to regain my usual composure but I’d done it and the view was impressive. The journey down was easier than I thought and it was back on the ground that I realised just how high I’d climbed and in case you are wondering what the fuss was about, there was with no harness.

We travelled through the Karri Forest and reached the Big Brook Dam lake. Pretty much all the group went for a swim except me because I’d yet again forgotten to put my swimming stuff in my day bag. The weather wasn’t that great, and it was quite cold sitting on the bank so eventually those of us that hadn’t gone for a swim headed back to the bus.

We arrived at the Carey Brook Camping Area and set up camp in Snottygobble Loop. Nicole had agreed to make a Swiss meal for us and Craig was making bread. It was unclear how long the meal would take but eventually Baz, Marco, Patricia, Gaby and I headed off on a short walk to Goblin Swamp. This was quite a surreal place and it was clear where it got it’s name. All the scene needed was some rolling mist and an actual goblin…

We arrived back just as the finishing touches to the dinner were being made. By now it was dark and a wondering kangaroo sounding like a person in the trees outside gave everyone a little jump because we were all around the table and in the middle of a forest with no one else around. This was the last night we could make noise and Craig showed us one more drinking game “little pink pig” which as usual frustrated many, especially Quentin on this occasion. Some went to sleep early but I and a few others stayed up a bit later.

As me and Lucas headed back to our tent we realised it was raining quite hard and there was a risk things inside would get wet. We therefore did the sensible drunk thing and carried it to the shelter. Lucas decided to sleep in the shelter in his swag as Quentin was doing but I decided to stay inside the tent, under the shelter.

Thursday 6th February
Next morning our tent had dried but some of the others that hadn’t realised how wet it was outside weren’t so lucky. We drove to Margaret River and on the way passed a number of forests that had been burnt in bush fires. Australian wildlife is better adapted to the conditions so whilst the trees still looked deformed they were not dead and were re-growing as were the shrubs. The non native Pines trees however had suffered badly and it was unclear if they were ever going to grow back.

We spent 40 minutes in the town whilst Craig filled up the petrol but it didn’t appear there was to much to see. We then briefly stopped off at the beach to see whether there were any surfers and whilst there were 2 the big waves were unpredictable making it difficult for them.

The day was really about Cheese, Chocolate and Wine as the region is quite famous for these and after my Hunter Valley experience i was more than happy to be spending another day sampling. Our first stop was the Margaret River Cheese Company where we had feta, cheddar, a Dutch smokey cheese, a camerbet and a chilli cheese. None were utterly amazing but I could still quite happily have eaten more of them.

Leaving the cheese shop we arrived at the Margaret River Chocolate Company. Again there were some free samples, this time dark, milk and white buttons which were nice but I had a few to many and they became a bit sickly sweet. There were a number of Swiss on the bus (7 out of 13) and Steffi from Belgium and I was initially surprised they hadn’t sampled each others chocolates but then realised why would they? I then had the idea of going back to Switzerland and going to all the chocolate factories in the regions I now know people.

We’d saved the best sampling for last and after leaving the chocolate store we headed to our wine tasting at Sandalford wines. We were given the Element Range and tasted two whites, and two reds before having a Late Harvest white that was my favourite and a brandy liquor. I think I have now established what wine I don’t like though I still don’t quite know what I’m looking for when I tilt the glass. We’d all put in $10 each and from this Craig brought us the Cheese and Wine as a group we wanted.

The next stop was probably my favourite of all as it was totally unexpected. Lunch at a local micro brew called Bushshack Brewary. I tried the selection platter and chose the following: Spelt beer – unmalted wheat, Chilli beer – a pilsner with a little after kick, Summer gold’n lager – a typical lager which seemed a bit bland, Chocolate beer – a nice stout, Old St Nicks 8.5% full of Christmas flavour, but it was a bit strong for my liking and finally a Scream’n cream’n – a refreshing alcoholic cream soda. The others made me close my eyes and I did a taste test which I was relieved to pass. Surprisingly the stout was probably my favourite though trying so many ales made me miss some of the British Beers.

I was feeling very content as we boarded the bus to the area surrounding the town of Yallingup. We got off for a brief stop at Canal Rocks another interesting coastal rock formation in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. The day had started off cloudy but the sky was now blue without a cloud in the sky which made the scene particularly beautiful though the waves continued to crash spectacularly. The cloudy start meant I’d not packed my swimming stuff again and getting it out of the trailer seemed a lot of effort. This was a bit of a shame because Smiths Beach our next stop was very pleasant and there were big waves that looked a lot of fun. Even Craig finally had an opportunity to dive in whilst Quentin dug himself a hole which was soon flooded by the sea.

After leaving the beach we headed towards Yallingup Maze Which was where Craig had brought a lot of his puzzles. There was also as maze to do and I thought that more of the group would have taken part as it involved 3D glasses and Water Pistols. Instead it was just me and Baz so rather than being in competition it was recommended we did it as a team. This took away part of the fun but we still got lost before realising there were a few secret doors. When we got to the final lookout Craig came out to join us and we returned back inside where it was evident a lot of people had brought themselves puzzles. Lukas brought himself amongst other puzzles one of those we hadn’t worked out so he had the solution.

We arrived at the camp and one of the other groups soon arrived as well as us being joined by someone working on the campsite. We had two final games of Mafia before settling down for Spaghetti Carbonara and our bottles of wine. There was a 9pm curfew which seemed quite early considering it was our final night as a group and we had drunk a lot of wine. Donkey got himself in to more mischief and I grew long blond hair and as the other group leader played guitar we performed our “Home Among the Gumtree” moves. Craig had helped Marco complete the puzzle we hadn’t been able to solve and gradually everyone on the group some with more help than others worked it out. I was finally able to because Sandrine left the puzzle half done on the table and as I knew/feared it would be the solution had been so simple. It was a fun night

Friday 6th February
The next morning we had a slight lie in but the other groups were up an hour before us and were incredibly noisy to the extent we all decided to wake up as well. We had all been in tents except Quentin who had stayed in a Swag and as he looked a bit like a tramp when he woke up he was told lots of people from around the campsite had taken pictures of him. I was feeling tired when we boarded the mini bus so I vacated the row of seats reserved for the non sleepers. As I had spent the previous days at the front my seat had become a dumping ground and Nicole not used to someone being behind her forgot I was there and accidentally chucked a large bag of ice backwards and towards me which woke me up quickly.

We started our journey back to Perth and stopped of at Ngilgi Cave where we were shown around by a Aboriginal guide before being given time to explore on our own. Our guide gave us some information about the Aboriginal culture including their belief on how the cave was formed, a battle between a good spirit Ngilgi and a bad spirit Wolgine. The caves was discovered by settlers in 1899 however the Wardandi tribe are the custodians of the caves in the area.

Exploring on my own I lost those from my own group and was following those from the other Nullarbor Group from the night before. It seemed the guy I was following was lost or at least I was before I saw the exit sign. Even when I found this I didn’t realise I was now late and everyone except the two behind me from the other group had headed out of the cave. Eventually I realised and made my way to the meeting place where the guide showed us various items including boomerangs, how to start a fire by rubbing a stick in a hole and played the digeredoo.

We had a early lunch near a beach but apart from Nicole, Lukas and Marco no one else planned to go down in to the sea though ironically this was the one day I had everything I needed. Corrine was thrown in the sea by Nicole and Lukas but the rest of us missed it only seeing the wet aftermath.

Part of the reason for not going in was to give us time to visit Simmos Ice cream. There were about 100 flavpours of various different varieties and eventually I settled on a carrot/orange sorbet and a lime sorbet. The carrot and orange one was surprisingly refreshing though I would have happily done a taste test to find out what I’d missed out on.

I slept the rest of the journey, waking up as we hit a traffic jam on the outskirts Perth just as we reached the town of Cockburn which rather fortunately isn’t pronounced how it is spelt. The next two hours are a long blur of Craig getting stressed as road works, a Bruce Springsteen concert and the cricket meant roads were closed. Finally everyone was dropped off and Steffi, Quentin and I arrived at the YHA.

We’d arranged to have a meal at a restaurant and after a quick shower and change headed out in to the city. Aside from the traffic problem my first impressions of Perth were favourable though it was weird to be in a city after 10 days where most of the perceived big towns had been a few 1000 at most. On the way to the restaurant we realised the Perth Fringe Comedy Festival was taking place. Perhaps this was why the city had such a good vibe and the main pedestrian street certainly looked nice with all the different lights.

Marco was running late as he was coming from Freemantle but eventually he arrived and we were able to order our food. I got a calzone because I had been torn between meatballs and pizza and Sandrine pointed out to me the calzone had combined both. After dinner Gabby and and Craig went to check out what was on at the Fringe and seeing a show appealed more to me than just going to a bar. Aside from Gabby and Marco the other 7 weren’t so keen so we split up.

We had to walk to the venue and when we arrived we were told the $10 tickets weren’t available but the girl at the window did us 3 for 2. The show was advertised as being Perth’s best comedians discussing a variety of sensitive subjects. The less said about it the better, it wasn’t the content that was bad (because I’d expected that) but the execution. If they are Perth’s best I should move to Perth and forge myself a new career. I think even they knew it was a disaster.

At times it had felt like a mini endurance test. We’d broken down twice and I’d had my spirit nearly crushed at the halfway stage when I’d been eaten by mosquitoes. But there were also unforgettable highs such as seeing Kangaroos on the beach, hearing koalas in the trees as I slept and swimming with the sea lions and dolphins. I’d known what I was getting myself in to when I’d booked this trip. The Nullarbor isn’t meant to be easy but all those memorable moments (including the not so highs) shared with a special group of people made it a pretty spectacular adventure.

Highway to Hell – The Nullarbor Plains

Saturday 1st February
I woke up feeling very sorry for myself. Throughout the night I had heard the mosquitoes and the next morning it was obvious what parts of my skin had not been sprayed. Even my legs which had been hidden hadn’t survived the onslaught and my hands in particular were a mess. I took one of my allergic reaction tablets because a combination of heat and mosquito bite means I find them particularly itchy.

We travelled along the road heading for Nundroo the official start of the Nullarbor Plains. There wasn’t much to see and as the sun was already in the 40s after taking a picture of the road leading to nothingness I hid in the shade as I’d failed to put suncream on.

As we left Nundroo I quickly started to apply suncream before after maybe 10 minutes Maggie mentioned she could smell diesel. At almost the same time Craig said he wanted to pull over to check the tyres. The diagnosis was not good, the inner right wheel had blown and we had a broken fuel injector. Part of the jack was also with one of the other buses and an attempt to use a spare piece in the back of the trailer.

Luckily we had only travelled about 15km and lots of road trains (lorries with big loads) were in the area and the first we saw pulled over. They had the bit of the jack we needed so a combination of Craig, Baz and Marco were able to remove 9 of the 10 nuts. The broken fuel injector meant we couldn’t drive anyway and as the final one was impossible for them to remove so after about an hour we received a tow back to Nundroo.

I brought an Ice cream and a sticker saying “I crossed the Nullarbor and broke down in Nundroo”. I was also tempted to buy the sign “where the hell is Nundroo?” which Maggie had seen. Whilst we waited in the air conditioned restaurant we played a game of Mafia which Steffi had introduced us to. I was first to be killed off in the first game and it was funny to see how quick people were to follow the majority, especially the assumption poor Lukas was always guilty because he smiled. Patricia was easily the best though Gaby and I also had success when it was our turn.

Basically there are two Mafia, one police and one doctor. Everyone else is a citizen. Each round the Mafia agree on someone to kill, the police accuse someone (the story teller says if they are right or wrong) and the doctor picks a person to save. Everyone then wakes up and with the exception of the person out of the game decides who to accuse. This carries on until all the Mafia have been caught or until they outnumber the villagers. We were in Nundroo for the long haul so had a few games before lunch and a few games after lunch. We must have been there for 4 hours but luckily the local mechanic Davis Motors/Nundroo Cabin Park had a spare part which wasn’t perfect but that was enough to get us back on the road.

We were running behind Craig’s schedule so we had to skip Eucla but were still able to get a picture of a famous sign of Kangaroos, Camels and Wombats at one of the toilet/refuel stops. I was surprised at how much vegetation there was and hadn’t really appreciated until i was told by Craig that the section of the Nullarbar (Latin for no trees) with no trees was actually only about 17km in length.

Our first stop on the Nullarbar was a lookout over the Great Bright of Australia. This was at the Bunda Cliffs which were nearly 100 meters high and our guide Craig told us they used to be on the ocean floor because there were shells on the cliff tops that were over 40 million years old.

We stopped to get petrol before proceeding to the border crossing where we had to ensure we had disposed of fresh fruit, vegetables and various other items that we were not allowed to carry in to Western Australia. The border officers were efficient but made us feel relaxed about the process with their humour and it was not like the crossing between Russia and Mongolia when the cabin had been torn apart.

After we officially crossed in to Western Australia we stopped to get a picture of the sign and the line marking the boundary. We then celebrated the fact we had made it this far before we performed the dance moves to “Home among the gumtrees” and sang “I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)”.

We arrived at a campsite in Madura much later than had been planned however I think we were all grateful that Craig had at short notice been able to arrange a place with facilities for us. Originally we were meant to bush camp but it had been a long hot day and it was nice to have a place to stay with basic facilities including a much appreciated shower. We set up the tents and a small copperhead snake slithered under one of them which luckily Elizabeth saw. We were all pretty exhausted and possibly jet lagged as the clocks had gone back so went to sleep pretty much as soon as the washing up was done.

Sunday 2nd January
I hadn’t slept well. My mosquito bites had driven me insane and despite Patricia and Maggie giving me cream it felt like I had been scratching most of the night (including when I slept) even though I knew that would only make them more irritating.

The night before we had seen some layered rocks to the right of the main road and this morning we briefly stopped at the top to get a photo though unfortunately it was misty so it wasn’t really possible to appreciate the vastness of the landscape below. Our next stop was to a cave in the Nuytsland Nature Reserve. The entrance didn’t look that big from our position but apparently it took a team 36 hours to explore the inside and there are 100s of similar caves across the Plains.

We briefly stopped again at Caiguna Blowhole which wasn’t particularly active as it was a calm day before proceeding across the Nullarbor. Although we were following a route close to the coast it wasn’t possible to see the ocean. I had anticipated kilometres of nothingness and whilst there wasn’t much of a view the trees and shrubs were more than I had expected though I still found myself drifting off to sleep due to the lack of sleep.

It was still before midday that we hit Australias Longest straight road which was 90 miles (145km) in length. This was what I had expected much of the journey to be like and whilst it is perhaps hard to explain and understand the lack of any standout landmarks or twists in the road was partly what appealed when booking the trip. Craig had given us various puzzles to work out and Baz had started an irritating game called “Good Train / Bad train” all of which had amused and greatly frustrated me/us at the same. We also had Donkey from Shrek on board and as lorries and cars drove past we pretended it was driving the bus. Not a lot probably happens on the Nullarbor so we had hoped it would either be mentioned at a service station or over the “Road Train” radio system.

We stopped in a small settlement called Balladonia for a 2nd breakfast and toilet stop but there wasn’t really anything to see. Its claim to any type of fame was Skylab’s 1979 return to earth which America desperately sought to recover despite their claims it was “only a weather satellite”. The next main settlement we stopped at was Norseman, named after a horse that had discovered gold in the area. Once a main town it is now just the beginning and end of Nullarbor. It was here I thought I had worked out the good train bad train game, before it emerged that I hadn’t.

Throughout the day a strong headwind had prevented us from getting the speed we needed to make up time from the day before and on the approach to Esperance the engine light came on. Craig did his best to fix the issue but ultimately we had to limp in to town, though we did hit 100km per hour going down a hill at one point. We were meant to have been staying in a camp on the coast outside of the town however Craig was able to book us in to a YHA which was luxury after nights in swags and tents.

We had BBQ pizzas for dinner before settling down with some drinks. I introduced the drinking game one up, one down which particularly confused Patricia and Marco. Once the game was understood it was no longer possible to play so Craig introduced Moon in the Spoon. All were simple but until you understood them the over thinking made them appear overly complicated and frustrating. We were also joined throughout the night by various other random people straying at the hostel including a very drunk Estonian who wanted a dance off and who seemed particularly angry when his request was denied.

Monday 3rd February
Craig had to take the bus to be repaired but luckily another group was passing through (going from Perth to Adelaide) and their days itinerary was scheduled to be similar to ours. We were therefore picked up from the hostel by David and his small group which meant we could all fit on the bus before continuing on to Cape Le Grand.

Here we were to do a walk from Hellfire Bay to Lucky Bay via Thistle Cove. I’d started off at the back of the first group and was trying to catch up with Marco and Gaby who were the pace setters. I managed to achieve this just as everyone realised we’d gone wrong so those at the back became the front and this meant I was at the back again. I was mainly walking with Steffi with Marco and Gaby just in front and Baz and Patricia just behind. We brought up the Good Train/Bad train game again and all of a sudden with a hint from Baz we’d worked it out. It was so obvious and i was so relieved because that and Craig’s puzzles had caused me to waste countless hours of my life. When Steffi suddenly fell we all lept in to action to make sure she was ok though we had been told to get pictures with Donkey and I couldn’t resist getting one of him ‘attacking’ Steffi once we knew everything was ok.

The walk had been as strenuous as expected and quite steep in places so we all stuck together as a family (especially once Maggie and Elizabeth had caught up with us so we could provide any assistance) until we reached Thistle Cove. We arrived in Thistle Cove where some of us went for a quick swim and some decided to get on the mini bus to Lucky Bay. I went in and doing so I realised I have been in the sea in each state I have visited so far. After drying out, which as usual didn’t take long, Baz, Patricia, Quentin, Gaby, Marco and I started the final part of the walk to Lucky Bay.

This section of the walk was easier and on our way we saw a big Guanna slowly walking across the path. We arrived at Lucky Bay and rather than going straight to the camp made a very slight detour to see the Matthew Flinders Memorial. When we arrived most of the others had eaten but we weren’t in much hurry as we had a couple of hours to ourselves before we were due to do another walk to the top of Frenchman’s Peak.

I headed down to the beach as sometimes Kangaroos are seen on it but I didn’t expect to see any because they are  nocturnal and don’t normally go to open spaces in the day. I assumed as it was only just after lunch they’d be sheltering in the forest. As I approached I saw a mother and a joey on the path towards the beach however as there were a group camped nearby they disappeared into some trees and I assumed the chance to see them on the beach had gone. I walked down on to the sand and all of a sudden they hopped out.

It was amazing watching them, they seemed quite relaxed around humans but the joey in particular was keeping a watch and any unexpected movement caused them to quickly hop away along the beach. Every movement they made was worthy of a photograph and it was very special to see them in such a pretty location. I managed to get a few pictures of them with Donkey before some unexpected movement by a seagull caused them to move further along the beach.

I returned back to the camp and even though it was windy and slightly chilly I told a few of the others including Maggie and Elizabeth to venture back down and luckily they did before another group of tourists accidentally scared the ‘Roos away. We still had a bit of time before the scheduled walk up to the top of Frenchman’s Peak so just chilled out, mainly making statements about Good Train / Bad Train, seeing the Moon in the Spoon, 1 up 1 down and going “here is *insert object of choice”.

Eventually we set our for Frenchman’s Peak and arrived at the foot. The walk up was much steeper than I expected and as there was a very strong wind I decided the best thing to do was to keep my head down and to hope that I reached the top without being blown over. This was partly because when i was looking up towards the cliffs at the top they didnt seem to be getting any nearer. We got a group picture at the top and Baz’s bag started to blow away but he rescued it in time. Despite the wind, it was a lovely afternoon and the view back towards the sea and of the surrounding Cape Le Grand National Park were very nice. The walk down wasn’t much easier and Nicole in particular decided the easiest way was to sit down and slide in places. We reached the bottom in time for the sunset and headed back to the campsite.

Craig had returned with the bus but there was no chance of us leaving that evening as had once been proposed as the bus needed to go back in for further tests the following morning. Baz, Lukas, Marco, Maggie and I went to get some beer and realised to our horror that in all the confusion our crate had somehow been lost or stolen at the YHA. We spent the night playing Mafia with a couple of members from the other group before going to bed fairly early even though we had a lie in the following morning.

Tuesday 4th February
A few of us had spoken about seeing the sunrise, hoping we’d get a perfect picture of it and some Kangaroos but over in Western Australia the West the sun rises very early at around 5am. Even though all the birds woke me I couldn’t face going out so stayed in my nice cosy swag and tried to block out all the noise.

I emerged from my tent just in time to have breakfast before joining a group that planned to spend the morning doing another walk. We had been told it was 6km one way and had hoped to get a lift with one of the other groups to the far end but it emerged that wasn’t possible. The round trip would be 12km which we knew was to far for us to walk in the time available as the intention was to be back by 12.00pm so that we could leave for the Stirling Ranges after lunch.

We walked along beach and through overgrown bush until we reached a lookout of beach and Frenchman’s Peak. We weren’t really sure how far we planned to walk but the view here was pleasant and we decided to start heading back so that time could be spent on the beach. We arrived back in Lucky Bay and met up with Marco and Gaby before continuing on to the campsite. Gaby and Marco had left us hidden messages on the beach mainly relating to Good train / bad train and Moon in the Spoon and if they were seen by the uninitiated they’d probably think they’d found some kind of cryptic treasure map.

Craig wasn’t back and no one had any news so we all just made lunch and after packing up all the gear we waited patiently. After what seemed an age we saw a mini bus approaching and it was him. He confirmed we were off, and after hooking up the trailer we were on our way, in our 3rd bus.