Day 28-35: Perth/Sydney
Trip Start Sep 12, 2004
57Trip End Jan 05, 2006
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Where I stayed
Monday morning came and before I left the Crown I got chatting to another guy staying there called Rob. I'd seen him wandering around before and also spotted him at the Court on Saturday night so thought I'd say hello. Turns out he's been in Oz for about 9 months already and has been in Perth for a couple of weeks. Obviously he's gay as he was in the Court so that's my 2nd gay traveller in a month. Turns out the Crown is quite a gay hostel, one of the first couple of guys I met - Lewis and Dale - are a couple and have been travelling round some time too. Anyways we chatted for a bit, nice guy, told me about his travels and what he's been up to in Perth, mentioned that on Wednesday nights at Connections is Lesbian Mud Wrestling which didn't really take my fancy unsurprisingly - however he said that next Wednesday is a Gay Mud Wrestling special so said that I might pop along to that...then had to go get the train to Freo so we swapped numbers
I trekked over to the station and got the metro straight there...found the Sundancer Backpackers pretty easily, it was another pretty big hostel with a large bar/tv lounge/communal area - bit like the Billabong really so I immediately wondered if I'd be able to chat to people. Lovely prison issue blankets too! It's a huge old victorian place with very high ceilings and lots of steps...I was on the second floor which was nice as I need the exercise. A delightful smell met my nostrils as I walked through the dorm door - the 4 other guys already in the room clearly had a feet issue - tho I can't really say anything as wearing sandals and just the one pair of shoes hasn't really done much for my feet odour either - must be a travellers thing.
There was no one in the dorm when I arrived so just dumped my stuff off and chucked the food in the kitchen and went and had a wander round Freo. Now bear in mind of course that it's a Monday and Freo is a pretty small town so it only took about 20 minutes to walk around the main shopping bit, not a huge amount to see but loads of nice little cafes and restaurants with AMAZING cakes and stuff.....took all my will power to resist. Decided to go to the Fremantle Prison as Sarda and Darren had said it was worth a look
Turns out you can't just wander around the place yourself, you have to go on one of the guided tours. I'm not really one for being sheparded around and the guide was some old Irish bloke who was trying to be too funny...and simply wasn't. However it did help to have someone that knew the prison really well and could explain lots of stuff. Amazing the prison was still being used up until the early nineties which is incredible when you actually look at the state of the place, it really is rough and not nice conditions to be living in - but then it's full of criminals so sod em! Of course now they've moved everyone to a new facility somewhere. Anyways it was worth a look around and pretty interesting, killed an hour or two.
Just got some food in and went back to the hostel. Plenty of people around but it was the whole 'lots of people in big groups' syndrome...did get chatting to a couple of people whilst I was cooking tho so it was a start. The evening was pretty quiet tho as it was a Monday night...not much happening. A few people were watching 'Life is Beautiful' in the film lounge so just watched that.
Tuesday I decided to go to Rottnest Island for a day trip on the ferry
Wednesday decided to go back to Perth for the night....mainly because the weather wasn't really good enough to go to Cottesloe which a beautiful beach but not much use in bad weather, plus it was Gay Mud Wrestling night too ;O) Hooked up with Rob and a friend of his, Lisa, came over to the hostel and we had some drinks with cheese and crackers - how civilised
Up bright and early to catch the coach, had to go 3 stops on the train first. Enjoyed the journey there just staring out the window listening to random tracks on the MP3 player, felt like I was in one of those road movies every now and again, great music whilst watching little fluffy clouds in the sky....very nice. It was a 3 hour journey and then I was dumped at a petrol station in Cervantes. This is the closest place to the Pinnacles that you can stay, they're another 20km away. Called the hostel to pick me up, checked in and booked myself on the sunset tour to the pinnacles as Dale and Lewis said that you really had to see them at sunrise or sunset as it was pretty spectacular - plus I could get some great pics. Just pottered around Cervantes in the afternoon, it's a tiny tiny town in the middle of nowhere which is not uncommon in Oz, just got some groceries and waited for the tour to pick me up a 4pm........which never happened!!
They apologized but just said it was one of those things, only the second time it had happened in 18 years - made me feel much better...not. I was fuming, really really pissed off and really disappointed. In the end I decided to go on the 8am tour the following morning, there was no point going all that way and not even seeing them. So decided to go to the beach and see the sunset there instead, it was only a 5 min walk from the lodge. Met a couple of girls at the beach, both staying at the lodge but not traveling together, we got to chatting and ended up just chillin in the lodge for the evening, there's bugger all else to do in Cervantes. We also got chatting to an English family who now live in Perth and were traveling around the west coast for a holiday - they were a bit like one of those families on 'A New Life Down Under'......they just upped sticks from the UK and moved over a few months ago, sounds like they're enjoying it and settling in tho.
So Friday morning came and I went on the Pinnacles tour, turns out the 2 girls were also booked on so that was cool. 8am was just early enough to miss all the tourists so it was still quite quiet and it was easy to take pics without loads of people in them. The place is pretty spectacular and great for photos so took loads, the guide - Mike - was really good too, he'd been doing the tour for years and knew all about the place, the aboriginal myths, best places for pics...etc. Spent a good couple of hours out in the desert and actually saw my first roo....was miles away tho but it was the first one which was cool.
The greyhound wasn't picking up until late afternoon so just milled around the lodge for the afternoon until we were picked up at the petrol station - both the girls were going to Perth too so it was nice to have company on the bus. Got into Perth about 7pm on the Friday night, said our goodbyes and I went straight back to the Crown. Rob was in and mentioned that there was a new gay bar opening that night, Eurobar, so scrubbed up and off we went. Was quite a nice bar....but could have been any gay bar in the world really, guess that's the case with all these trendy bars, very very busy tho, guess all of Perth's gay glitterati came out for the night. After Eurobar we just moved off to the Court again and finished the night off there.
Saturday came and went to the Gravity Games which were being held in the McCallum Park next to the Swan River just a short bus ride away. There was skateboarding, rollerblading, wake boarding, bmx stuff, etc....all looked very cool - and it was a great day for it. In the afternoon just done a bit of shopping and bought some clothes...first time since leaving the UK - thought I'd buy a couple of new t-shirts for going out in. Of course being the last Saturday night in Perth I did the Gay thing with Rob and his friend Lisa - we just drank at the Crown till late and the walked round to the Court, didn't seem as busy as last week but still a pretty good night.
On Sunday I had a nice lye in and the only plans were a trip to Cottesloe with Rob for the Sunday Session (basically just chilling on the beach and having a couple of drinks). Great weather for it, not a cloud in the sky but bit of a breeze off the sea so chillier on the beach, still warm enough to hang out for a bit and top up the tan - didn't get my top off of course! Had a couple of drinks at the Cott - it's basically where EVERYONE goes once the sun starts going down - it was heaving. Unfortunately we came in right at the end of a bikini competition, of course we were gutted....plenty of straight totty to look at tho.
Came back to Perth in the evening and just pottered around, packed up ready for the flight this morning. The airport shuttle was picking me up at 7am even tho the flight was 9.50 which is of course outrageous but didn't have much choice. Flight took 4 hours and Sydney is 2 hours ahead of Perth so arrived just before 4pm local time....and it was pissing down!! A week ago it was 37C, today it was raining and about 18C - weather like the UK - let's hope it improves soon, tho not too hot. Took a while to get an airport shuttle but found one which went door to door. Traffic was a nightmare so didn't actually arrive at the hostel until about 6pm - I'm staying at a place called BIG Hostel - http://www.bighostel.com/, there's so many places to choose from in Sydney it's diffcult to know where to go. Anyways I'm in a 4 bed dorm ensuite which is $34 a night, which is a bit more expensive than Perth, think things generally are over here.
And this evening all i've done is settled in, bought some groceries, watched a bit of Finding Nemo and now I'm here finishing off the diary...and that's it for now, next time will be all about the first few days in Sydney :O)