The Molly saga

Trip Start Oct 01, 2005
Trip End Jul 21, 2007

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Flag of Australia  ,
Thursday, February 15, 2007

The plan was simple. We would work in Perth for 10 weeks, hock Molly to some young unsuspecting backpackers for an ridiculously inflated amount, and enjoy Perth in the meantime. It didn't work out quite like that. We were unaware of a number of key factors. Namely the labyrinthine layers of red tape surrounding any change of vehicle registration in Western Australia, and also the chronic dearth of backpackers in Perth. The process developed into a protracted nightmare.
We decided it would be a good idea to sell the car complete with 12 months Registration, and by spending 4 hours waiting at the 'Pits' (WA's M.O.T. office) we found that Molly had developed a rather large leak in her undercarriage among other minor issues, including a 'rattly' steering column housing! Remarkably it required not one, not two, but three mechanics to fix these problems, not to mention a shit load of time and dollars we did not have.
Once the problems were fixed and another 4 hours had been frittered away changing the cars plates to WA, we began the ad campaign by driving around all the backpacker hostels in Perth and nearby Fremantle. With this initial sweep yielding nothing but timewasters, we advertised the car in a classified paper called the Quokka and reduced the price, making another thorough sweep of the city. Our problem was time, as by now we had only 4 weeks before flying out of Perth and the other options were not so attractive: selling to a shyster car dealer for not much more than the price of scrap, or even, horror of horrors, driving another 5000km to Sydney. Such was our desperation that we even considered driving her into the outback, torching her and collecting the insurance.  
But it didn't come to that and in short, the weekend before we left we eventually found a buyer in a couple from New Zealand and Ireland and waved Molly off, toasting her departure ad infinitum that evening.

While all this was going on we did little apart from drink goon, watch DVD's and work.
My time at work for an Arts and Craft supplier was transformed by the sheer soundness of the people I was working with. It was ostensibly a job in the warehouse and the shop, picking and packing orders, but as it was a small family run buisiness I had a good laugh with Debbie and Grant and long serving staff Mel and James, and it gave my working day a real boost. James happened to leave the week before I did and we had a kind of joint leaving do where Grant (from South Ifrica) set up a barbie out the back and cooked up some superb South African Burrawurst sausage, along with large helpings of Amstel. Nice. Kerry worked in the handy to get to Royal Perth Hospital along with Yates who both hated it but there you go.
Good Vibrations provided an amusing diversion. It's a music festival located 30km from Perth city in the middle of a wine region and was spread out between two major areas, one flat and the other in an awesome natural amphitheater. It was sunny and warm and we were entertained by J5, Nightmares on Wax, Rahzel and the Beastie Boys as well as, and in no small part, by the great outfits that aussie festival goers concoct. In contrast to the terminally scruffy Glastonbury regulars, they make a real effort, the 80's being a common theme, with gawdy tracksuits and sweat bands de riguer.
We spent quite a bit of time in Fremantle which is a funky town 20km down the coast that has a good vibe and a cool market surrounded by cafes and eateries. It was a key port in Western Oz way before Perth existed and the varied colonial architecture and european feel is the most obvious sign of this influence. In contrast Perth city is bland and modern. The weekend before we left we attended the Blues and Roots festival on a park in the middle of Fremantle and had a great day. The atmosphere was way more laid back and much less pretensious than Good Vibes. Another key difference was that we smuggled a bottle of voddy and JD in along with a catheter bag loaded with vino so we wouldn't have to pay the inflated drink prices. The best band without doubt was hip-hop outfit True Live who blend rap with classical instruments and beats. Wolfmother were decidedly ABC performers and the rest was a blurr.
Of course we also spent a few days on the lovely beach at Cottesloe, staring across the sea toward Africa and were buzzing when we went there one evening for sunset and fish'n'chips, and found loads of wicked sculptures scattered across the sand and gardens.
As I have said, we did an unhealthy amount of drinking and eating. We got bang into Malaysian Nasi Kandars and also whiled away a pissed up afternoon at the Belgian Beer Cafe in the otherwise boring city centre.
Keith visited from Sydney one weekend and we ate and drank even more.
The other thing that was cool was Fremantle Prison, which was a maximum security facility until 1991 and has been left unchanged ever since. We went on the candlelight tour which was very interesting and spooky, with a few surprises including prisoners plummeting from the top floor of the block onto the suicide netting just above your head, and ghost stories in the gallows. Good stuff.
So thats it. In short, Perth is pretty dull, Fremantle is cool. We were ready to move on and see the Great Ocean Road.

P.S. Sorry if this is a long one! After all we were there for 11 weeks.
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starlagurl on

Nice concert...
I love Rahzel, and of course the Beastie Boys. One time, I was supposed to go to a Beasties show, but the concert was cancelled. It was also supposed to be in Buffalo, not Australia...I'm jealous.

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

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