Published: May 19th 2012May 19th 2012
Arriving in Perth, Australia 28/01/2012
After a good old fashioned flight and seeing the grooviest man ever, with his long wavy hair, slick trousers and shoes, smart shirt unbuttoned showing his magical gold medallion on top of his mighty manly hairy chest. I really, really struggled to keep Katie away from that “hunka monka” as Katie would say.
We then queued and queued and queued to get through customs which seemed to take longer as I needed a wee really, really badly. We had to queue to get our stamp and then we had to queue to go through quarantine as we had been trekking in Thailand and may have infected boots. 45minutes of queuing and a quick glance from the quarantine guy at our shoes he let us through and we caught the shuttle bus to our hostel.
We got off the bus and thank the driver and entered our hostel and saw lots of people dotted around and the atmosphere was like someone had just ran over a bunch of puppies, we attempted to lighten the mood by smiling and saying hello and all we got was a few mumbles and grunts, Yay. What a place
to stay a few days!!!!
As soon as we checked in we headed out and went on the hunt for food, ironically our hostel seemed to be placed in the Asian quarter so we felt right at home. Our hunt for food was a massive shock. We looked at a couple of Asian menus and saw noodles and veg for £18 wtf. We had just paid £1.50 for a steak and beer in Asia. We moved on and went to find a supermarket or a drink but then again felt a slap in the face at the price of a coke and water. We didn’t even want to know what the price of a beer was as it may cause heart failure.
A food court, we found a food court, there supposed to be cheap right? No we shared a curry and ran back to our hostel to work out a budget and get some rest.
Today we decided to do something for free so we checked our lonely planet and found a free 4 hour walking tour of the city. We headed off in the scorching 38o heat and visited the cultural
centre which was very cool and artsy, we strolled through the shopping centre and decided to check out a different chain of supermarket which was cheaper than most but still expensive. We did manage to buy some bread and cream cheese for lunch later. We wandered the city seeing a few churches, monuments and other important buildings the planet said we must see.
On our walk we had our first aboringal experience when they asked for $5 and when we said no the lady said “and you looked like such lovely people”. We finished our walk at the magnificent Kings Park which overlooked the whole city, this is where we had lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon resting our tired legs.
We later went back to the supermarket and got pasta for dinner and cooked in our friendly hostel where no one seemed to talk to each other before we headed for an early night.
HOT HOT HOT HOT 41 degrees today, let’s just have a picnic in the park. Too hot and expensive to do anything so we booked some bus tickets, signed up for YHA cards so we could get money
off lots of things worldwide and then sat in Kings Park and ate cream cheese sandwiches again.
Instead of staying in our hostel at night we cooked pasta again and headed out into town and looked at a few bar prices and walked away and used the free internet in the library for an hour or so before heading for another early night.
Fremantle. Still ridiculously hot but we caught the train to a lovely town called Fremantle.
We arrived fairly early and went to see the art gallery before walking up a very big hill and meeting a very strange lady walking around in a circle claiming she had lost her keys, I think maybe she lost her marbles instead. When we got to the top of the hill we had a great view of the area and sat had had lunch (you guessed it cream cheese sandwiches) by the war memorable statue.
After lunch we headed for the old gaol and booked on to two tours. The first one was a normal tour of the prison showing you the horrible conditions the prisoners lived in. on this tour we visited the chapel
which had held a couple of weddings in so for the rest of the tour we were harassed to see if we wanted to get married there, I think every other sentence from the tour guide was have you changed your mind yet.
We didn’t and we are not married, don’t worry ladies.
Our next tour was about people who had tried and failed to escape and unfortunately we had the same tour guide so was harassed all the way through the tour again. This tour was better than the first because we were shown and told where people tried to escape and how inventive they were with their methods.
After our tours we watched the sunset on the small beach and shared a huge portion of fish and chips while fighting off the seagulls before catching a late train back to our hostel.
This morning we checked out of fun Ville and went to the natural history museum and learnt some things about the aboringals and how horrible they were/are being treated, for example they had their children snatched from them and the children were “re-educated” and sent off to live in institutions.
Very Nazi like, how did they get away with it????
In the afternoon we caught a bus to a wine region known as Margaret River. The bus was awesome, Free Wi-Fi, very comfy leather seats and loads of leg room!
We arrived at Margaret River and were picked up by the manager of the caravan park where we were staying. It was a nice place next to a river with lots of wildlife.
We had a private cabin which was our own little house which was amazing after spending the last 5 months in hostels. We even decided to book an extra night here. We headed to the supermarket and brought some decent food and then had to head to a drive through bottle shop as they don’t sell alcohol in supermarkets. Strange place ey, its ok to have drive through bottle shops (actually pass the beer through the window of the car) but no alcohol in supermarkets!! This place is a little upside down and about 20 years behind in its thinking and its technology.
Tonight we cooked our own steaks and had a bottle of wine while watching a film on TV, we missed
this a little.
We booked onto a wine tour which was cheaper as the guy who owned the park ran the tour so discount for us!!!
We got picked up at reception and got on the bus with 3 other couples who were in their 70s. It’s going to be a great day!!! (App it’s not peak season) our first stop was a winery so 10 different wines to taste where me and Katie quickly really realised we do not, we do not like Port!!!
Next stop winery!!! More wine
Next stop food we had a one course “gourmet” dinner with a free drink, we didn’t really need any more wine but I felt we had to as it was free so we had a huge glass.
Next stop, venison farm, free meat and pate… awesome
Next stop winery... more wines later lots of drunken old people and me and Katie.
Next stop???? O yer, chocolate factory, free chocolate.
Free cheese, biscuits and water on the bus which is very much needed and is being taken advantage off.
Next stop winery... no more wine, ok go on then.
Next stop CHEESE FACTORY, highlight so far
Final stop brewery where we shared 6 “pots” of beer.
Back to the cabin and time for a snooze woke an hour or two later with a minor hangover, each winery had 10 wines to try. We both agreed this was pretty awesome for £60.
That night we ate sausages and watched midsummer murders (prime time Oz TV) and realised we left our camera on the bus… doh
After some frantic panicking last night, I was convinced the camera was on the bus, so I got up early went to the office and there it was, the manager handed it over and the panicking had stopped. Today we spent the morning chilling in the caravan park before heading for a look around town. The town itself is small and there isn’t much to do, but it is also a charming little town with a few nice bars and “gourmet” food stores. The afternoon was spent organising what we are going to do in Oz over a beer and a game of cards.
We woke nice and early and put on our walking
boots. Our first stop was to book bus tickets to Bunbury for the next morning which was very hard work as we had to book through a very dippy computer illiterate ancient information desk worker. 4 painful hours later we had our bus tickets!!
We put our walking boots on to head to their “amazing” national park, or so they say. It was crap; we turned round after about 2 hours walking as it was like walking through Harlestone Firs. We headed back; watched Saturday TV and some kids’ films that were on before having an early night as our bus was at 6am the next day.
After some hard work waking up at 5 we managed to walk the big hill to the bus station and catch our bus. Surprise, surprise there was only 5 people on it. Which turns out to be great as you can have two seats for yourself so you can catch up on some sleep.
We eventually arrived in the small town of Bunbury at 10:30 and headed straight to the dolphin centre where we booked a cruise for the following day. While we were there we were lucky
enough to see a dolphin that swam all the way up to the shore. We spent the morning lying on the beach in the super-hot heat before going to the hostel for lunch.
After lunch we took a stupidly long walk in the heat until we found the ‘big swamp’.
On our way to the swamp Katie became very excited as we managed to see our first kangaroo. The swamp was pretty cool as we wandered over it and round it seeing all kinds of strange wildlife.
In the afternoon we cooked a curry and went to try and get some sleep. But we couldn’t as we had a very, very clinically obese lady snoring her head off; it was so loud it hurt our ear drums. We were told the next day by a few people we were talking too that she was heard a few rooms down the corridor.
After no sleep at all because of old fatty we headed to our cruise and spent the morning attempting to get a picture of a dolphin. They were everywhere but even with our new camera it was hard to get a picture.
One second they’re in sight and one second later there gone back in the water. Deciding to just give up with the pictures we just sat back and watched them play.
In the afternoon we “manned up” and went to the pub but did fork out $18 for two pints but this did not stop us buying a few more.
Today after another night with fat snore face we caught our bus to Perth and walked to our hostel in the hot, hot heat. When we arrived we were greeted by management who said they had made an error and had double booked us and couldn’t find us anywhere else to stay. So we spent the next 10 minutes looking for a hostel while walking in the scorching midday heat, until we came up with the bright idea and using the internet to do our walking for us. We searched and searched and found one room left in a hostel in Freemantle on some website we had never heard of before, so instead of booking through the site we rang the hostel, confirmed and manage to get the only bed left which was luckily
a double room. As we still had time left on the internet we decided to book our outback tour but when we rang they said we had they had no more spaces until a week later, which panicked us and messed up our plans even further. We walked up to the hostel to collect our bags before making our 40minute trip to Freemantle and discussing our options on what to do instead of the outback.
As we both really, really wanted to do the outback tour for this week we rang up again and we were informed there were 5 spaces on the tour, so we paid, problem solved. So after the stress off finding a new hostel in the heat, thinking we can’t the tour we wanted we could relax and chill out. But no. we had to book a flight. We decided to go to the flight centre instead of using the internet but we had checked 4days ago that the price was around $200 each for the flight. We found the flight centre and chatted to the friendly staff who were as shocked as we were when they read the price had been shot up to
$400 each as there were limited seats left. After the day we were having we couldn’t be arsed to go and see if there were any cheaper, but being backpackers we did and there wasn’t so we booked onto the flight as we had already paid for our trip. We then felt relieved but stressed as we were way over our money budget. We sat and had fish and chips and guessed/hoped the money would work out in time. So for tonight we decided to save money by staying in our room watching whatever crap was on TV.
After yesterday’s havoc we decided to make our own way to penguin island, which is what it says it is, an island full of penguins and spend the afternoon there. Before this though we headed back to Perth and checked into our new hostel. We caught the train and bus to the ferry even though we got off at the wrong stop and had to walk 25minutes again in the scorching heat, we got on the ferry to the island, where we wandered looking for the tiny penguins between rocks, under stairs, plants and anywhere they might be hiding.
We did find a few but headed back to the centre to see “feeding time” which was cool even after listen to thousands of Katie’s dorky questions.
After penguin island we spent some time on the beach before heading back to our new hostel (which stank and had a squelchy carpet) and met our two Irish roommates who we could not understand apart from the words hello and beer!!! At night we had a subway before going to see a play at the Perth fringe festival called sleepyhead, which was excellent.
Today we saved money by eating cheese spread sandwiches and reading our books at the park. We had an early night as we were flying to Alice Springs in the morning.
There are more photos below