Travel Blog: Week 16

Australia Week 16: 25.02.2013 – 03.03.2013 Monday:- A slow start but one of the joys of living a carefree life is that you can stay in bed as long as you like – bliss!!! Ange and the boys left for the day. Smoothie time! The morning was lazy with the occasional helpful moment hanging up the washing etc. A quick skinny dip in the pool (sorry Ange and Nigel but it had to be done) before heading out for the shops.

Australia

Week 16: 25.02.2013 – 03.03.2013

Monday:-

A slow start but one of the joys of living a carefree life is that you can stay in bed as long as you like – bliss!!!

Ange and the boys left for the day. Smoothie time! The morning was lazy with the occasional helpful moment hanging up the washing etc. A quick skinny dip in the pool (sorry Ange and Nigel but it had to be done) before heading out for the shops. Despite my track record for directional awareness I set off in an optimistic mood. It didn’t last long. After about 10 minutes I realised I’d already gone the wrong way so asked for help – I was in completely the wrong place. I preserved and only had to ask for directions once more before I arrived – a triumph in my book!

I bought stuff for dinner and a few other goodies from Woollies before heading back. This time I got even more lost and had to asked for directions from a kind workman. He even offered to print off a map for me – I mean do I look that dippy???? (Don’t answer that)

Anyway you’ll be pleased to know I made it back and successfully assembled dinner. The exhaustion forced me to the pool and a spot of sunbathing.

I had a brief Skype date with Dad before serving up dinner. This is a harder gig than being a stand up comedian but the meal was eaten by all (well nearly all eh Gareth). Result!

I bit of brain training listening to Ange and Ewan doing maths homework – well, Ange was doing maths homework and Ewan like me was almost listening – while I waited for my food to digest then out for a run. I did some interval training up the nearest hill (Tammy – good memories of doing hills in DC, can you believe I ran the hill out of choice?) and managed 35 minutes despite the heat. I have to confess I wasn’t planning to run that far but I got lost again. At least I’m getting to know all the roads around here.

Shower and bed.

Tuesday:-

Today I was joining Ange for her spin class so I was up early to give myself time to digest breakfast in time. What did you have for breakfast I hear you ask. Smooooothie of course!

Ange took the the boys to school which gave me time to do laundry and dishwasher duties before heading off to Arena.

The class nearly killed me but in some strange way I really enjoyed it. Back home for a quick wash and out. Our first destination was the cemetery. The cemetery???? Yes, this is the place to go if you want to see kangaroos, and I can’t blame them it is truly a wonderful place. Apparently, although the kangaroos are wild, you can feed them. Not today! They were too wary, but I was able to get within a few feet.

  

  

  

A chocolate brownie at the cafe – I know it sounds weird to have a cafe in a cemetery, but it’s so tranquil here and so people have time for quiet contemplation.

  

I few stops and the shopping malls and grocery store and we were back for lunch – smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches don’t you know.

Boo – today Ange received a speeding fine for the night she’d picked me up from the airport (some good is required here to balance the karma). It was accompanied by a rather fetching photo of us all though.

Tonight I was going on the night dive with John. I packed my bag – mask, booties, towel, new underwater camera, crate of beer – and Nigel dropped me off. I met John and his wife Alison, both lovely people, and then John kitted me out for the dive. Luckily his daughter was about the same is me so I could use her wet suit and BCD.

It was a fair drive out but we made it just in time to get suited up before dark. I now remember how to put the kit together, and have heavy it all is when you have to walk down steps in it – I decided to leave my camera as I already had enough to hold and think about. We walked out from the shore and were off. It took me a while to get my buoyancy and breathing right – a bit of a baptism of fire having a dive after such a long time, in the dark, using someone else’s kit. At last I relaxed into it and enjoyed the experience despite the really poor visibility. Some patches were really silted up and John reckons that dolphins had been around. How cool! The moon was really full tonight which meant there were less shrimp – but we did catch some. Not many fish to see but a few crabs (apparently I knelt on one – sorry crab!), starfish, jellyfish and some sponges.

  

Wednesday:-

After a leisurely breakfast I set to with my chores – hoovering, laundry and dishwasher duties. All done and feeling rather domestic I had a swim, a snooze in the hammock, made lunch, then started on cooking dinner for everyone – Shepherds Pie (with hidden veggies).

That was pretty much my day!

Thursday:-

Got up around 7:40 to the news that if I could be ready by 8, Ange and I were going snorkelling that morning. Needless to say, with an offer like that I was ready and took my smoothie in a cup to have in the car. We dropped off the boys at school and headed for Mettams Pools.

It was a perfect morning and we’d soon spread our towels on the sand and were in the water. It was chilly but a huge wave came in and covered us which made getting in much easier. The fish were amazing – so many and such variety. I even managed a swim through after listening into the school kids class on snorkelling skills. Why didn’t we ever have lessons like that? (OK, I know it was cold most of the time and we weren’t by the sea – such small details!!!)

  

  

  

  

It got cold after about 30 minutes but we went in twice. As well as the school kids there was a group of OAPs enjoying the beach. Maybe this was Senior Snorkel.

  

  

  

On the way back to the car we were watching a guy paddling out on his surfboard. At that moment 5 or 6 dolphins also appeared around him – awesome! (Look to the left of the furthest boarder)

We’d worked up a good appetite so stopped in Joondalup for an Asian meal at Kulcha. Bloody lovely and cheap – as you can see from the photo we tucked in.

The thrift store party was only a few days away so Ange took me to 2 great thrift stores. The first one was full of loads of things that fitted and were candidates for a party outfit.

Ange found something too. We only left because the car parking ticket was due to run out.

We picked up Gareth on the way home and then I decided to walk to the shops to a) actually find a direct route, and b) get some top up credit for Ewan’s phone that I was using. On the way to the shops a found a Martial Arts Academy. I’ve always been interested so I went in and booked in for the free lesson that evening at 7:30. I got my phone top up. For $30 I got $450 credit – that’s a good deal. I quick trip around Woollies – they were giving away free samples of sweets. It would have been rude to decline.

Home, change and out to the Zen Martial Arts class.

  

There were about 16 in the class, I was the only girl and older than all of them. Luckily there was another newby – Mark. We paired up and managed to get through the class with the help of a very patient Pauline. I don’t know what I was expecting but it was a mixture of fitness and self defence. It was a killer – first excercise was 20 push ups, 20 sit ups and 20 swats. Then it got really challenging. We learned punches, kicks and blocks/slaps. It was so funny as Mark didn’t want to slap me – “it’s not right hitting a woman” but we agreed it was OK as it’s all learning.

I ran home – the sky was full of smoke. There had been some bad bush fires in this area over the past few days. People evacuated from their homes and the latest one was getting close. Happily the firefighters got anthem all under control.

  

A quick bite to eat and then off to bed.

Friday:-

Nigel’s day off again. After Ange and the boys left and I’d had breakfast we headed out north along the coast. A other sir her of a day.

First stop was at Yanchep Lagoon beach for a spot of snorkeling along the reef. The beach was full of school children – yes they were having a swimming lesson on the beach. That’s the way to do education.

  

Anyway, I went into the sea a couple of times – the water was lovely but they were hydroids so I came out with a harmless few stings. There weren’t as many fish as Mettams pool but overall it was a great way to spent two hours.

  

Next stop was Yanchep National Park. A place with beautiful lakes, or so we thought. There’d been so little rain that the lakes had completely dried up.

  

We did however see the koalas. Cute looking things that spend most of the day sleeping and generally taking it easy. If not they’re eating.

  

We stopped and had a quick beer in the ‘world famous’ Yanchep Inn – have you ever heard of it? No, but at $18 (£12) for two beers it’s certainly one I’ll remember. We headed back to the car and spotted a few kangaroos and a flock of rosette galahs.

  

  

  

Now for lunch. Back south along the coast to Mindara and Dome – fast becoming a favourite place to eat. A had a steak sandwich to die for and Nigel and I put the world to rights in one of our afternoon contemplation sessions. We stopped at Arena and I bought my Future Music Festival ticket – a day of fabulous music should be a great event.

  

Home for a snooze in readiness for my big night out with the girls. I’d just finished getting ready when a message came through. The night was cancelled. Oh, I’d even straightened my hair for the first time in months! Well, there was nothing for it but to go out anyway. Nigel dropped me at the station and I got the train into Perth. I needed help buying by ticket but before I knew it I was on the train and heading for the big smoke. I made it to Perth only to find the help I had buying the ticket had bought me a concession ticket – I was NOT a concession. There’s a $100 fine for having the wrong ticket. I was also supposed to carry my passport. Who knew???? Anyway, I talked myself out of the fine and was told to go on my way. I found my way to the Avary, a rooftop bar recommended by Ange and Nigel. There was a queue and I waited for about 30 minutes to get in. I got chatting to a local guy in the queue and the time flew but by now it was already 10:30. I bought a ‘Dirty Granny’ – sounds grander than it is. It’s a cider but a good one. At the bar I met another guy and he invited me to join him and his friends. I’m not sure how pleased the girls were to see me but when I asked if hey knew the time of the last train home they told me 11:15 -ie about nowish, so I downed my drink (it was $10) and left. I wasn’t really ready to call it a night, and did consider stopping at joondalup but not knowing the area I went straight home. Walked back from the station and got in around 12:15. I looked up the train times. My last train was actually 2:15 – I could have stayed another 3 hours. Hmmmmm!

Saturday:-

As I stayed sober last night so felt OK when I woke up. Had breakfast and kicked back.

I was behind on my blog by quite a few days so spent the morning updating, uploading photos and generally getting up to date. I also hung up two loads of laundry – in this household of 4 active people there is a constant supply of washing, mostly football and cricket kit, so doing laundry is almost a full time job. I still don’t do ironing though!

In the afternoon Ange and I headed to Arena and a bodypump class. It was an easier class so I upped by weights a little. I must be improving!

We were going out for an early dinner with some of Ange and Nigel’s friends so just enough time to get changed. Indian was on the menu tonight – it was delicious and I got a doggy bag to boot. I met Madeline and Roger, and Gill and Martin and had some laughs. The plan was to go to the cinema after the meal but Madeline and Roger had a home cinema so we made use of their offer. I quick stop to buy ice cream and then the film. From Paris with Love. Not a new film but a good one in classic Luc Besson style – if you liked Ronin you’ll like this one.

Home and sleep

Sunday:-

I took it easy this morning as it was the Big day for Future Music Festival. I had a hearty brekkie – fried egg and brown sauce buttie. Marvellous!! The festival started at midday but it was hot so I waited until the heat of the day had gone had pasta for lunch (to keep me going for the rest of the day) and headed out.

It was still hot and it didn’t help that the back entrance to Arena was closed and I had to walk an extra 20 sweaty minutes to the front. It was educational though. There were scores of kids trying to ‘jump’ the festival – ie get over the fencing without a ticket. Most I would guess were under age too. This was an over 18 gig. What was scary were the scrapes, cuts, gashes and rips in their clothes some of the kids had – evidence of their failed attempts at getting in. At one point one of the fencing panels had been opened up to bounce one kid out but about 30 other young lads charged out from inside the compound like there was a riot going on. They ran out with shouts of dog. The reason, the security guards had chased them down with the biggest black wolf of a dog.

Anyway I eventually made it in with thousands of others – average age = mid twenties!!!!!!! I felt old.

  

It took me a while to orientation myself as there were 6 sound stages but after about an hour and a drink I settled into it a really enjoyed the music and atmosphere.

Just when I was thinking where next? I got chatted up my 3 very young guys but they asked if I wanted to come down to the front and dance with them. Why not? I joined them and had a real laugh.

I also met loads of other people and stayed with one for the rest of the evening. What a great guy – even offered to carry me on his shoulders so I got a fantastic view. Dizzie Rascal was amazing and Bonkers brought back some of the routine, so for old time sake I did my best to replicate it.

  

The finale was Prodigy – truly awesome. Before I knew it the event was over and I followed the crowds along the trek to the station – all trains were free for the festival goers (top marks to Perth transport) so the venue clearer pretty quickly. Oh lord though, the venue cleaner uppers had a task ahead of them.

  

  

  

I got in around 3 (totally missed the Thrift Store party) raided the fridge and hit the sack.

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