Perfect Perth

Trip Start Jul 27, 2003
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28
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Trip End Jul 26, 2004


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Monday, March 15, 2004

Monday 8th March - continued
We had a good flight to Perth from Darwin with Qantas and got a meal and a movie as it was over 3 hours. We watched "Somethings Gotta Give" and ate chicken something or other and landed in Perth with an hour and a half time difference at 4.30pm.

We got into Perth which is a really small city and made our way to Northbridge to find somewhere to stay. We got a room at a hostel on Aberdeen street and dumped our bags and heading out to get some dinner and find an internet place. A good friend of mine from my Manchester days moved to Perth some 7 years ago and we lot touch. I had tried to get in touch before this trip but to no avail. I decided to look through the White Pages to see if any of the addresses looked familiar as I knew her parents lived here and 7 years ago I had their address but didn't know their first names. Now as you can imagine there were a lot of "Kings" in the phone book but I went through them all until one struck me as vaguely familiar. I called the number and her Dad a Scotsman from Dumbartonshire answered the phone! I couldn't believe it. He gave me Leeannes home phone number and I gave her a call and after the initial shock we caught up.

She insisted we check out and stay at hers. Because of the lateness we decided to stay where we were tonight and explore Perth City tomorrow and she was going to pick us up after work.

Tuesday 9th March - Happy Birthday to me!!
We got up and headed into the city for chocolate croissants and fresh coffee for my birthday brekkie. Perth is very easy to get around on foot so we set off first to the Bells of St Martins which were a gift to Perth from Queenie and have a very funky glass and copper bell tower in which to dong in! From here we made our way to the amazing Botanic Gardens and adjoining them Kings Park. These were by far the bes inner city parks in a city we had come across. Kinghs Park had an amazing treetop walk taking you into the tops of the trees with stunning views of Perth and the Swan River below. We got chatting to a poor gardener who had a million pots of kangaroo paw to plant which are beautiful red flowering plants. He didn't seem to mind though.

We then took a walk upto the war memorial and eternal flame which is a beautiful memorial and was being replanted with fresh seasonal flowers as well. We took a walk down past some pretty fly houses back into Perth city and had a look round the nice shopping streets and changed some of our Oz dollars into Thai Baht, Singapore dollars, Malaysian dollars and some US dollars before making our way to the Museum of Art and the museum of Western Australia. It was soon time to meet Leeanne so we collected our bags and made our way to the train station entrance.

Leeanne hadn't changed at all and it was cool to catch up on the drive back to her house. We got to her place in Mount Pleasant and picked a couple of lemons from her tree in the garden to make gin and tonics. We met her boyfriend Darren and then all got showered (individually!) before heading out to a Thai restaurant for a scrummy birthday tea.

Wednesday 10th March
We had a nice lie in in our big comfy bed with extra pillows and duvets. We had a leisurely morning watching TV, checking our email, having brekkie and generally enjoying being in a house again. Leeanne gave us a lift to Freemantle and left us to wander while she headed to work. Freeo as it is called locally is actually a city but has more of a townie feel about it with just loads of cafes and bars with pavements full of people eating foccacias and drinking lattes but with a more down to earth feel.

We decided to follow suit and had a great lunch in a bakery cafe which served enormous food. We both shared a chicken and avocado slad foccacia and left room for the warm mango and banana pancakes with ice cream - Yum!

We then took a walk to the harbour and took in the sites including a massive submarine. We also went to Freemantle Gaol which was quite an interesting reminder of Alcatraz which seems like such a long time ago. We had a last wander around town before heading back to Leeannes where we had dinner and watched a DVD.

Thursday 11th March
Today we got up and headed to a lovely restaurant on Cottesloe beach called the Blue Duck where we had sat and had Eggs Benedict for breakfast. Leeanne was giving us a tour of Perths beautiful beaches. Simon took a quick dip in at Cottesloe and then we headed to Scarborough, City and North beaches. We stopped at a little shopping complex that was built on stilts in the water called Hillarys and had Gin & Tonics on the deck of the bar before heading to a hairdressers which Ian a friend of Leeannes owned. We both had our hair cut. I just got an inch off and got it cut straight as it was curved last time and starting to look bushy at the ends and Simon went for as short as I would allow!! We also got amazing head massages which were fantastic.

We left Ian and went to check out some shops before heding home for a lovely chicken salad and a good dose of reality TV, The Hothouse and Average Joe. Don't know if they have made it to the UK but excellent viewing!?!

Friday 12th March
Leeanne headed off to work today and we decided to have a quiet one we leave for Thailand in a couple of days so took the opportunity of a washing machine and fast home internet, We lay about for most of the day watching DVDs and catching up on my diary. We were heading out to a happenin' bar called Floreat so we had showers and got dressed up (thankfully Leeanne has a hundred pairs of shoes that fit me!!) We headed out for a good night out which got a bit blurry towards the end.

Saturday 13th March
Today was a brilliant day. We had a lie in and then headed to the yacht club with a friend of Leeannes and waited for Darren who had gone to collect his boat. The yacht club bar had a crazy promotion on with a bottle of champagne for just 7.50 dollars. We decided to get a bottle and some fresh orange and we sat and drank Bucks Fizz. Darren arrived and dropped the boat in the water and we all boarded. We loaded the Esky (sorry, coolbox) with beers and made our way along the river and then out to sea.

We sat on the front drinking Gin and Pink Greatfruit (which knocks the socks of G&T) and made our way over to Rottnest Island. We spent the afternoon in the bar on the island and then back on the boat listening to music and eating Doritos and drinking more G&PGs! We waited till sunset which was spectacular and then made the 20 minute journey back to the mainland. I drove the boat back up the estuary and then we winched her out and hosed her down. Simon went with Darren to put the boat away and Leeanne and I went to collect a curry from a good Indian place which is actually rare in Australia as there are very few curry houses. We went home and had a good feed and fell asleep.

Sunday 14th March - Happy Birthday RichardP
Well what a better way to spend our last day in Australia - we had not one but 2 barbecues! Two of Leeannes friends both had birthdays today and we were going to both parties. The first one was at a Green Lawn bowling club in Mosman and had the most amazing views of the Swan River. We all split into teams and were taught the basics by Ray (who had obviously been doing it for years!) It cost $4 per person (lawn fees) and we spent nearly all day drinking and bowling. It was a most relaxing day and a good laugh I can highly recommend it! They have a BBQ alongside the lawn so we stopped play while we ate and the weather was just perfect (as it has been everyday we have been here!!) When we had bowled enough we made our way round to the other BBQ just round the corner.

We ate about all we could manage and got chatting to a girl who had recently been to Bangkok and she shared some of her stories with us. Simon whose house we were at was a big kite surfer and had a friend in Phuket in Southern Thailand who had jut started a kite surfing school. He gave us the details to look him up to maybe try our hand at kite surfing. It was jut passed 10pm and time to head off so we headed back to Leeannes house and collected our bags and Leeanne and Darren drove us to Perth airport. We had coffee with them before they waved us off. It was so good to meet up with Leeanne again and look forward to our next visit.

It was really weird leaving Australia doesn't feel like we have scratched the surface. We have see so much yet seen so little and given hardly anytime to Western Australia and Southern Australia but we can come again and most certailnly will.
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