PERTH - back to
Friday 21 May
I'd arrived back from my tour at 6.30 and had a quick turnaround to get back out and meet Simon, Kate, Nicole and Graham for dinner (the others were all out of the city that night so couldn't come). I was also VERY excited as Nienke was in town and coming for dinner with us; I was so excited I made myself late because I waited for her to arrive before I got in the shower and ready. We had a VERY quick catch up then went out to meet the others. Nienke took a shine to Graham immediately, which was nice as they got chatting (in the end she was friends with everyone!). We met at the Brass Monkey then went to a really nice Italian restaurant which was lovely. Next Simon took us to the Elephant & Castle we stayed all night because it was BRILLIANT! We met some of his mates and we all got steadily tipsy (I was not drunk Dad!) and there was a live band who were absolutely fantastic (I went to request a song for Nicole and got chatting to the singer who ended up giving me free tickets to a proper gig they were supporting in a few days, as I wasn't going to be in Perth I gave them to Kate). We danced and danced and danced. We attracted some random locals who were interesting, my favourite was an elderly gentleman who had a nice dance with me J And I suddenly found I could remember more German than I had thought I could which was helpful for getting Nicole out of a spot with one guy as I spoke German with her to see if she needed rescuing (she did!). I can't really say much more than that other than that it was brilliant and that we just danced and danced and danced, the band were just so awesome and the atmosphere amazing. I loved it. Simon ended up getting really drunk (therefore there are lots of photos of us trying to get a nice normal photo) and passed out in a chair, good job he was off duty as our guide ;)
Saturday 22 May
I was actually not very well today; not hungover but proper poorly. I still had my bad cough that didn't seem to want to stop and after spending an hour on the phone to Mum, Dad and Maff I rang Gemma and found I couldn't really talk as I couldn't breathe (sorry to worry you there Gem!). And I had a really horrible achy pain in my kidney which meant I just wanted to lie down constantly. And I still had a funny pain in my leg. Basically, I was falling apart! If I wasn't collapsed on the bed I was uploading photos as I was desperate for you all to see them as they're so cool, wish you'd all been there, especially for the dolphin bit! I'd pulled it together enough by the evening and went to the cinema with Nicole to watch Robin Hood. I'm not sure if any of you have seen it, and I don't want to put you off, but I was not impressed. I'm not sure if it was because I was tired but I found the first half actually boring, then when it seemed to get going a bit everything seemed to happen too quickly and I'm not really sure how it all happened. Maybe I nodded off but I don't think so! Nicole seemed to like it, seemed to be very impressed with Russell Crowe's muscles, to be honest I think they were the only impressive things about it. We then wandered into Northbridge to meet Nienke and get her out of a spot at the Brass Monkey where we bumped into the elderly gentleman I'd been dancing with the night before, I was a bit put out he didn't recognise me. I was invited to the casino by Des (the Irish guy) but went home which was a good job as I needed a proper night’s sleep to try and get myself a bit better. I had a bit of excitement before bed though when I got a message from Marc, from the Great Ocean Road, who was in town and wanting to meet up tomorrow.
Sunday 23 May
I got up late, feeling a lot better. The kidney pain had gone, I just had a bit of pain in my leg and I could breathe which was a bonus. I still had the cough though. Nicole came to my hostel to get some photos off my memory card then Marc came to my hostel and it was exciting to see him! Nienke didn't know he was in the city so we decided to surprise him. He went off to get some lunch; Nienke, Nicole and I went off to get some lunch then went to the train station for our outing to Cottesloe. I'd told Nienke she had a surprise and she was VERY excited (or trying to be, for me) and when Marc arrived she was actually VERY excited although admitted she thought it'd either be him or Markus turning up. We got on the train to Cottesloe with all the supporters going to a big Aussie Rules game. I got chatting to a nice bloke who'd lived in Watlington so knew Oxford really well. He told me all about Aussie Rules then wanted to talk about English football, he knew loads, I couldn't keep up, even knew Oxford had been promoted and Swindon was in the play off final. (They really seem to like their English football in Perth). We arrived at Cottesloe in the wind and rain, which was actually quite nice. The beach was full of surfers; shame we were looking so windswept! As soon as it started really raining we went to the pub (I had promised Maff I'd go to Cottesloe for a Sunday Sesh, so blame him Dad). We started off at the Cottesloe Beach Hotel which was really cool as they had great music playing at 3pm, I couldn't help chair dancing! We also had a good view out to the sea, which later proved very nice when the surfers started coming in! They were stripping out of their wetsuits right in front of us! Loads of them! We'd had a couple of drinks so thought it was a good idea to get some photos (for you girls at home, of course! - I wasn't entirely sure whether it was appropriate to upload them so have only uploaded couple) until the DJ pointed out to everyone in the bar what we were doing (I don't think any of the girls in there blamed us!). That was a bit embarrassing, but what do they expect, as I said they were STRIPPING! Poor Marc. He didn’t know what to do with himself so we had to have a conversation with him about girls so he didn't feel left out.....Anyway at 5pm a live band came on who were really good but a bit slow so we decided to move onto the Ocean Beach Hotel which was packed. But the atmosphere wasn't very good, the music was really annoying as it was really quiet, you could hear it but not well enough to actually figure out the tune which was very frustrating. So we left after 1 drink and headed back to the Cottesloe Beach Hotel to get some food. But, they wouldn't let us in because I didn't have my Passport, just my UK driving licence. We had that a lot on New Zealand so learned to take our Passport out with us but it's the first time I've had it in Australia. I just don't get it, I'm sure the Australian government doesn’t want us wandering round with European passports that could get stolen and used for all sorts. The women on the door basically took a real dislike to me for some reason; that much was obvious when she accepted Nicole's German driving licence as ID. It was so annoying as we'd only been in there 20 minutes earlier and I'd even been ID'd at the bar where they accepted my driving licence and we only wanted food this time! So we walked out and got some nice chips. I was so p*ssed off I rang the hotel to ask them why they wouldn’t accept it and they told me they do accept UK driving licences. I must have really upset the women on the door! We headed back into the city on the train and went back to my hostel so Nienke and Nicole could sort something on the computer. Then I went to bed after saying an emotional bye to Nicole and Nienke. I was in my 6 bed room on my own for a second night in a row! It was nice, but would have been a bit lonely had I'd not had the others to meet up with in the day.
Monday 24 May
The trains woke me up again at 5.15, lovely! I slept in until 10, am feeling better every day. Although my cough is horrendous at night, it's a good job I am in the room on my own, I thought I was going to be sick was coughing so much in the night. I met Marc and a guy from his hostel in Kings Park which is so lovely. The nicest park I've ever been into I think, nicer than Central Park. It is full of memorials for various things like the Bali Bombings and the World Wars, and there are amazing views of the city. And it smelled really nice, all fresh and of cut grass. We did 'The Walkway' which was cool. Apparently you're not supposed to have wedding photos taken there......we're sure we saw one couple breaking that rule. It was such a lovely afternoon walking around the Park. The water garden was very relaxing and the fountain went off every couple of minutes (not like the one in Canberra where I waited 45 minutes and it still didn't go off) When Karl left we walked into town and had a look around the shops. The highlight for me was finding a shop with English supplies - I got Walkers Smokey Bacon crisps, TWIGLETS, Irn Bru and more MARMITE! I was so excited. Marc cooked me dinner at his hostel (I helped). Am not 100% sure I was supposed to be there but they’d been so horrible to Marc I didn't mind breaking some rules. The dinner was lovely!!! We went back to the internet cafe we had been in earlier to try and find Marcs sunglasses but they weren't there, so he got a new pair, from the hundreds that were in lost properly. Marc wanted some photos like I have in front of the Bell Tower at night so we went done there and did some posing, it was freezing but I had to take my jumper off as the last ones of me there had me with the same jumper on, and Des (the Irish guy) had already commented after looking through my photos that I'm always wearing it (Dad - it seems I wear it almost as much as the Peru one). As I said to Des though I AM A BACKPACKER - there is a limit to what I can fit in my backpack!! We went to the Lucky Shag for one last drink (Mojito for me and a 'Shag by the River' for Marc) and then had to walk back to my hostel for me to pack, where we said an emotional goodbye and Marc carried on into the night.
I really like Perth, it's my favourite Australian city so far - sorry Ants, and Kara, and Steph, and Megs! - Brisbane and Melbourne are my next favourites :) If I were to come back to Australia to work next year I think I'd like to come back to Perth. I just love it. And for any of those of you (Mum, Gem, Janni anyone at work etc) who are now panicking I might not come back I will, I promise! It's easy for me to say that whilst I'm away. If I do though, Perth is probably closest for you to all come visit.................!!
I miss you all Xx
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