Perth and the south west

Trip Start Feb 22, 2009
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Trip End May 05, 2009


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Monday, March 16, 2009

It has been some time since we last updated our blog, but we haven't forgotten any of you, we have just been really busy! We are now well into our second half of our travels having 4x4ed across Cambodia, fended off multitudes of street sellers, dived in the worlds best pristine dive sites, spent 3 months without hot showers and 2 months without showers at all(!), nursed sore backsides from 14+ hour bus journies, sunbathed in 40oC heat and cooled off in many an ocean, tended sunburn and mozzie bites, made new friends and met with old ones, walked up mountains, across volcanoes and glaciers, through rainforests and canyoned down icey gorges. We have stayed in locals huts, camped in a camper, slept on buses, trains and planes, enjoyed 5 star treatment and been reminded of our place in countless backpacker hostels... but at the moment we are staying with family. We are currently in Perth (WA) with Den and Nola who have been more than hospitable, including the use of their car and internet (we think we may have produced their largest phone bill to date with the amount of time we have spent on the internet - all necessary, more about that in a mo...). Despite Den having a 'thumb' accident they have ferried us about and shown us a few local sights. As with all the friends and family we have met up with on our travels, it is so nice and can't thank them enough - which means of course, if you are out there and we haven't seen you yet, you can expect a knock on the door!
In the last month or so we have been arranging, rearranging, thinking, changing our minds, going back to square one, nearly booking then not, sorting and resorting a huge amount of travel arrangements. It all began with the simple agreement we both loved the cultures, sights and sounds different to our own (not that we haven't loved every other part of our travels you understand?), and we wanted more. From this seemingly inauspicious remark when we leave Oz we are now booked to turn right at LA not left...
Countless emails, phone calls and agency visits and we are heading to South America - we are now frantically trying to learn Spanish!
That said, it's not all work work work for us, we did manage to get some r&r in the south west. We hired a little car for two weeks (which even managed to run after Jon accidently put a spot of diesel in instead of petrol; bloody pumps are all the wrong colour! Oops!)and headed on a round trip through Bunbury, Dunsborough, Margaret River, Augusta, Pemberton, Denmark and Albany. We, of course, have furthered our taste buds with the vin yards in the area, famous for sauv blancs, cab sauvs and chardonays. In Dunsborough there was a really cool live music event for the long weekend with food and drink, where we sat and watched the sun go down over the sea listening to some local bands. En route we passed through the Forest of Giants, probably one of the few green areas in WA, stayed at some cracking hostels and met some really nice people who even tried to help us with our Spanish! Tired of just drinking our way through the region we headed out for a bit of bush walking, it was really nice but a real eye-opener as we came across two tiger snakes on the track (we shat ourselves silly but did the right thing by freezing as we later found out they are extremely dangerous; average survival time after a bite is under 1 hour). But not all the wildlife here is as hazardous, in Flinders Bay we saw a small pod of dolphines that came up to us as we walked along the jetty, and in Hamelins Bay we had our toes nibbled by huge sting rays whilst paddling in the Southern Ocean.
On our return to Perth we have spent a few more days with Den and Nola, met with Ali's friend from work, Rachel and her partner Andrew, who took us for a bbq on the beach front where we caught up and put some of the world to rights and watched the sunset over the Indian Ocean.
Whilst here we have bought two $5 body boards and tried our hand at body surfing, really good fun and we were getting the hang of it until the boards broke, but what can you expect for $5!?
Finally we have booked our Greyhound ticket up the west coast and chosen our first destination. We have a further 6 or so weeks to laze our way to Broome and then over to Brisbane, so time to lay back and take it easy for a while!
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