Published: August 6th 2007April 28th 2007
We flew via Singapore and had 5 hours to kill before our next flight. There are plenty of things to do as we found out last time we were here. This time i had trip to the beauty salon and then we had a swim in the outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.
We were met in the airport by Erica's mum and dad (Chris and Brian) and her Uncle and Aunt (John and Nikki). By the time we got through customs which was a nightmare, it was around 1am. We then had a 45 minute drive to John and Nikki's house in Mindarie, where we had a celebratory drink of sparkling wine before one by one everyone went to bed, eventually it was just Chris, Erica and I, we went to bed at around 5 am. We stayed at Erica's uncle's house for the week which was beautiful and had a sea view, we were spoilt!
On Monday we had a chilled day. John had to go back to work, in Albany (which is a flight away) so we were one man down. We walked to the marina which is just 5 minutes away, the streets around here
were pretty similar to 'Neighbours'. What i found weird was there wasn't any pavements so we had to walk on the road, but as everywhere is so spread out you have to drive, so Nikki was a God send to us, taking us to places. We had a coffee and a huge piece of cake by the sea before walking it off up the beach, which just goes on was hot during the day but did get a little chilly at night.
For dinner Nikki made a roast chicken, with trimmings, roast potatoes and veg (sadly no stuffing or Yorkshire puds!) which was amazing, i had dreamed about food like that for the past months! Christine made an apple crumble for desert, a personal favorite so I really was spoilt rotten! You probably guessed there was plenty of wine flowing, for the whole week actually!
Erica and I taught Christine and Nikki a card game we learnt in China and had a right laugh!
On Tuesday we went shopping in the local mall, it was no arndale centre let me tell you but i did manage to make a few purchases! Erica and I got
sim cards for our phones, back in touch with home again! And we both bought some combats and a jumper, getting ready for the cooler climates! We had lunch in a cafe where i had a beautiful sandwich which i could have really shared with Erica as it was that big, but i ate the whole lot, western food, yes please!
In the evening we all went to the local pub at the marina for dinner called 'The Boat', where we were joined by Amy (Erica's cousin) and John met us later when he got back from work. We had a go at the pub quiz there was no surprise when we didn't come first as we didn't know much Australian trivia. When we got back we had a few games of cards.
On Wednesday we caught the train to Freemantle, a small costal town, it was a national holiday so there wasn't many shops open but there were lots of people out drinking, for some reason lots of soldiers!It was surprising how many medals some of them have, even the young ones. I couldn't imagine so many of them deserving them, i bet they give
them out willy nilly!! We had a drink in the Sailor and Anchor pub, which was full of sailors! We sat on at the balcony and watched a street illusionist try to get out of two tennis rackets a heavy duty chain and three padlocks! Bizarre!
We then had lunch at little creatures brewery which was a funky place, with large beer containers behind the bar! Erica and I shared our meals so had a nice selection of lamb kebabs and nachos. We then had an ice cream and walked along the harbor front.
On the way home we stopped in Perth centre for a drink in a pub called the "lucky shag".. of course we had to take a photo of the sign. In fact i have been taking photos of car registrations. Here you can pick whatever you want as long as no one else has it and it is no way near as expensive as back home. The best one i have seen was grumpy old man!
When we got back it was quick change of footwear before heading to Joondalup, where Amy lives to go searching for kangaroos. We saw 5, 2 of
which were really friendly and i could get really close to them, as you can see by the pictures.
On Thursday afternoon we went to the local aquarium to do a shark dive in one of the tanks. It didn't really feel like diving as we had to be negatively buoyant and the maximum depth was just 4.5 metres. But it was great, and a guaranteed shark viewing experience. In there was 5 grey nurse sharks, one male "Dopey" and four females, the largest being 3 metres. The male got his name as he has no idea what to do with the ladies! There was a black smooth stingray, two eagle rays, black and white tip reef sharks, and many more, but we were told the most dangerous was the two hawksbill turtles, as they only look once every thirty seconds so were more likely to bump into you. It was funny to see children looking at us through the viewing tunnel, they were made up when we waved to them! As a memento we got a sharks tooth that one of the guys found on the floor of the tank.
Afterwards we walked round the
aqauarium and saw the ship wreck tank (where we dived) from the dry land view! We also visited a lovely seal who followed me around dancing about, what an attention seeker!
On Friday Erica and I caught the train into Perth centre (giving Nikki the day off, although she took Chris and Brian out). It wasn't as big as i had expected and i wasn't tempted to but anything, Manchester is much better for shopping! So we headed to the Houses of Parliament to get a few photos before going to Kings Park which has great view over the city, and also a memorial for all the Australians killed in the Bali bombings, so very scenic.
We then walked to the waterside for another drink in the lucky shag (ha ha ) before heading back to see if we had missed any shops, which we hadn't. So we had coffee before heading back, just in time to watch the sunset over the sea from John and Nikki's balcony, with a bottle of beer of course.
John had come back from work so in the evening we had a curry. We were supposed to go out
with Amy but instead we played some board games, which Nikki had bought especially. Nikki and I drank too much wine and had to stop drinking before everyone else!
On Saturday we collected our campervan, which John and Brian very nicely accompanied us, looking over the van with a tooth comb for us so we didn't get ripped off. Unfortunately it cost more than expected when we got there, hidden charges, BOO! But we paid the extra insurance, extra driver fee, gas and safe fees and were soon enough on our way. We had wanted to drive through the outback to Cairns but were told we were unable to do that in the van we have, so we had to change our plans and do the west coast after all, which is what we originally wanted to do, we just hadn't thought about doing it in a camper van.
Erica and I then headed to the local supermarket, Woolworths (yes a supermarket not a cheap shop like at home) and filled our van with supplies, we also went to the local BWS (beer wine spirit) and got two wines boxes, one for tonight and one to take
with us! We also got John and Nikki a bottle of wine and some flowers to say thank you for having us and i got them a card too. I also got one for Chris and Brian as they had bought me some things, bless them.
In the evening Nikki and John had a small farewell for us and invited some friends round. Amy also came round with her friend (who's name i cannot remember, i just know she is studying in Australia and lives in the Sechille's).
There are more photos below