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A hikers dream is right!!! During this part of the tour we did some exercise and climbed to the very top of Frenchman's Peak, still part of Cape Le Grand National Park near Esperance - beautiful views from on high. It was steep in areas and very rugged. Part way to the top, there were big open cave-like areas where birds swooped down at our heads. We could hear them flying by us as we ducked. As we climbed, we spotted all sorts of wild creepy crawlies...snakes, lizards, etc. The flowers were what kept Andrea clicking though...see Vol 2 for more detail!
Day 3 had us taking a major detour as the Ocean road from Esperance to Albany had been taken out by floods as had the next route up to Grace Lake. This meant we had a 5am start and an 8 hour drive back up to Hyden (near the dog cemetery...woo hoo) and down through farming country to Albany stopping off at Castlerock on the way. Oddly enough, we actually went through the village where Craig Dennis, our farm trainee from 1995, lived. Little Broomhill was beautiful and had we had more time, there might have been a quick stop at his working farm for the tour group. (we did meet with him later that night and again in Perth). Anyways, back to the hiking. Castlerock was again, beautiful views of the countryside all the way to the ocean on one side, the vinyards and the Stirling Mountain range on the other. The hike consisted of a walk through the forest, a tight squeeze between giant boulders and a steep climb up a ladder to the look out point. Beautiful. Just what tired, sleepy passengers needed - a good stretch.
We arrived in Albany late that night but feeling we had conquered the outback.