Travel Blog: Week 19

Australia Week 19: 18.03.2013 – 24.03.2013 Monday:- Well as it happens plan B was required but not because of the rain. After a few hours of sleeping the poor tree I mentioned earlier was uprooted by our weight and we ended up on the ground. The tent came in very handy as I crawled in to get some sleep. The open panel at the front revealed the morning sun rise and was a wonderful way to wake up, albeit a bit

Australia

Week 19: 18.03.2013 – 24.03.2013

Monday:-

Well as it happens plan B was required but not because of the rain. After a few hours of sleeping the poor tree I mentioned earlier was uprooted by our weight and we ended up on the ground. The tent came in very handy as I crawled in to get some sleep. The open panel at the front revealed the morning sun rise and was a wonderful way to wake up, albeit a bit bleary-eyed.

  

    

  

Sleepily, we packed up all our stuff and headed back to Exmouth. A few stops for provisions and to the dive shop, to use their wifi and download the photos/videos from the day before, and then on to the airport. We said our farewells and Ben set off on his next adventure. I was so glad to meet Ben and make a friend. I wonder if our paths will ever cross again?

The airport was deserted and I soon realised it was because my flight had been delayed by an hour. That’s OK! It gave me a chance to freshen up, change clothes in the restroom, and then just take it easy. I met two guys, Bob and Dave, who were the fifos (fly in fly out) from the offshore oil rig. Spookily they were both Brits, not especially spooky you may think, but they had worked in…..da, da, dah……Milton Keynes!! Wow, it’s so weird how small the world is sometimes. They kept me fed and watered with chips and beers until our flights boarded. We were all going to Perth – I was flying with Sky West though and they with Qantas.

  

Assuming we all arrived at approximately the same time Bob had offered to drop me home. He lived in Joondalup just down the road from Ange and Nigel. That’s handy. Well we did arrive around the same time but I landed at a different terminal. I had to get a shuttle bus from T2 to T3, which turned out to be quite a distance away, but Bob kindly waited for me. Well Bob and his girlfriend, Robyn, waited for me to be precise. Bob was now too drunk to drive and Robyn was not overly impressed to see me or hear that she was giving me a life home. Anyway we chatted in the car and Robyn warmed up to me. I even got invited to their place for a beer. There I met another new person, Fran – Robyn’s sister. Are you keeping up!!! Some time later, it did seem like quite a long time later,  Robyn took me home where a chilli and bed was waiting. I was cream crackered. It sure had been a full on day!

Tuesday:-

Spin class! Another cracking hour session. I really starting to enjoy this. Nigel even joined us at the back.

Today Ange and I we were going back to the Swan Valley to pick up some “gold” sparkling wine for a birthday pressie. We may just do a few other stops too.

We stopped off at the nougat place to stock up on the ‘to die for’ forentines, and then discovered the House of Honey and its amazing sticky date pudding with honey ice cream, oh yes, oh and the fabulous honey products (6 different kinds of honey, honey drinks, honey soap, honey hand creams, honey sweets – you get the picture). I bought a jar of honey pollen. It claims all sorts of health benefits so I thought I’d buy some, then if anyone ever asks …have you ever tried honey pollen?, I can say “yes I have” (Ann, that one was just for you).

  

Feeling very full (boy was that date pudding good) we stopped off at the vineyard to get the sparkling wine and sample a few different wines, 2 chocolate shops (collecting a large quantity of free sample in an UNUSED dog poo bag found in the glove compartment), a lavender shop, and lastly another honey store where we saw a working hive and the queen bee. I never knew the queen bee was like all the other bees apart from she was fed royal jelly. Did you know that? Many of the little shops were closed on a Tuesday but at one place at least we got to see the Emus. They are quite nosey! On the way home we visited a shop full of products from Bali – they were wonderful and gave me a taste of what I could expect to see on my upcoming trip.

  

  

Once home, I cooked dinner and we all sat down to watch a spot of the televisual box.

Bed. I was so ready for it! Not working for a living is hard work!

Wednesday:-

Left to my own devices today I set to after brekkie and cooked and cleaned my little socks off. A full morning’s work if I say so myself.

The afternoon was equally adventurous – sorting my trip plans and finances. I had the mother of all credit card bills so was looking creatively at by budget. Sound familiar anyone???

Dinner was the fruit of my morning labours, and yes Nigel I’m really sorry I used nearly all your apples! Pay you back……honest!

Thursday:-

Body pump. The first one for two weeks and boy did I feel it. It idn’t help that I upped my weights and nearly killed myself. To add insult to injury I ran home after the class.

Today Ange and I were in search of fancy dress costumes for her, Nigel and Gareth. A tall order by any stretch of the imagination. In true Ange fashion she managed to find pretty much everything.

As a reward for our rummaging we went to sushi train. A really fun experience – if you haven’t done it yet its worth a try. The food is on a conveyer belt which travels in a large loop around the restaurant. When you see something you like you take it off the conveyer belt and its yours. Each dish is on a coloured plate – the price is determined by the colour of the plate. We scoffed 7 plates of varying colour. Priceless! You’ll be pleased to know I forgot to take a picture of this meal. Too carried away with the fun of it all!

Before dinner we stopped by Neil Hawkins park on the edge of Joondalup lake in search of kangaroos. Alas they eluded us tonight. But the sunset was lovely and the air was filled with the sound of birds. More tree pictures!!!

  

  

    

  

Curry for dinner and a mammoth travel blog updating session. It’s so easy to get behind. It needs to be a daily ritual! Now off to bed.

Friday:-

I was down at Hillary’s Marina early. Even before the shops opened.

  

I spent the morning having a leisurely browse and then parked up in Dome for tea, biscuit (ANZAC of course) and a spot of people watching in the sunshine. Nigel met me there for lunch before we headed to the new bar on Currambine. It was pretty swanky if not a little pricey.

The evening was spent watching movies with Matthew.

All in all a very chilled day.

Saturday:-

Today was the warmest it’s been for a while so after brekkie and some general tidying I stretched out in the sunshine. Believe it or not the temperatures here have been a little cooler and I’ve actually felt cold – I’ve really acclimatised to the warmer weather!!

Today was the first day of the Joondalup festival. I set off to the station and had soon made it into Joondalup. If only they’d put up signs for the festival – don’t they know about my sense of direction. Anyway, eventually I found the festival. Mostly set up for families – merry-go-rounds, face painting, and hot dogs, but there were some fine craft stands and live music. I sat and listened for the afternoon whilst tucking into the most amazing tasting ribs.

  

  

There was a chance I could get free tickets to this evenings rugby, so I headed back home. Sadly, although the tickets were mine I couldn’t find a way to collect them in time for the start. I had an evening in front of the TV and an early night.

Sunday:-

Today I was definitely going to Freemantle, or Freo as its known to the locals. I had thought about going many times since arriving here but never quite got my act together. Today WAS the day. It was going to happen!

I got the train into Perth, changed lines, and then headed out towards Freo. It’s a bit of a trek, taking about an hour and a half, but worth the effort. About 20 minutes before my destination I started to notice that a lot of people were wearing wrist bands, including the guy sitting next to me. So …… I asked him what was going on and why did everyone have bracelets on? It was a Blues and Roots festival – a two day event for a more mature audience. It was its 10th year and consequently, it was quite a line up. I decided to bite the bullet and go take a look. Could be fun!

  

I had a quick look around the crafy stalls in the Eshed markets and then went in search of the venue. As is usual for me I took the scenic route but it gave me the opportunity to have a good look around. I have been before so I recognised some of the roads – it hadn’t changed much! The crowds started to thicken and I knew I was going in the right direction. Then I started to hear the music – how exciting!!! The ticket was an arm and a leg and cash only – I just had enough on me to get in which was handy as the nearest cash point was miles away – I got chatting to a lovely lady who told me sometimes life is too short to worry about $4 ATM fee, the time saved by not going in search of a free ATM can be spent having fun. Amen to that! I paid up and went in. Fortunately, there were ATMs inside (although they also charged the same $4 -the naughty little wotsits) which meant I could get something to eat and drink – nachos and a “dirty granny” cider. It was a more mature crowd and everyone seemed really chilled. As well as a fabulous music line up I was introduced to these wicked festival seats. They are red, made of cardboard which either flat packs for carrying, or unfolds into a kind of triangle shape which you can sit on and lean against. They are so cool and pretty comfy – why haven’t I seen these before? You can see them in one of the photos.

  

The crowd was much better behaved and I was able to get to right to the front for Michael Kiwanuka, Bonnie Raitt, and Sanata (well almost to the front). All the acts were all awesome and the vibe was really good, which helps when you are there by yourself. I was so glad I’d decided to come along and make a day of it.

  

  

  

As the light faded the temperatures dropped and I began to get cold. I hadn’t come prepared for an all dayer. I managed to stay until 9:30 thanks to some very bopable music, so I got to see nearly all of Paul Simon, but by then I was just too cold. I walked to the station, following the crowds, and got on the waiting train. Everyone was in a buoyant mood and I got chatting to the couple next to me. The journey whizzed by and there was just enough time to change trains and get to the Joondalup line. It’s then that unique wave of tiredness descends on you whilst travelling home on the train after a long day out. You just really want to get to your final destination. It was just the 15 minute walk home, a quick fridge raid and then off to bed. I just made it before the clock struck midnight.

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