After having no joy over the last few days as to finding a way out of Perth, we finally got one. It's not that we don't like the place, its just it is so cheap to get here, but once the travel companies have you, they make you pay to get out of the place. We have tried everything. We could even hire a car and drive to Adelaide for approximately $200. Only thing is they want a $1000 payment for a relocation fee. I ask you!
Virgin Blue came to our rescue though and we booked to flights to Cairns leaving on Sunday, as we need some warmer weather. As we were still in Perth, we called Andrea to take her up on her offer of allowing us to stay over the weekend, and then we ventured to the lovely Kings Park. We caught the free, yes free city transport system (the CAT) as close to the park as we could and walked the rest of the way in there. It gives you some great views over Perth
. We spent time wandering through the gardens, taking in the wildlife, and getting soaked in the process due to Perth suffering from its most rainfall that anyone can remember. One thing about the park that was memorable was the Bali bombing memorial they had erected. It stands in a certain place in the park so that on October the 12th, the anniversary of the tragic event in 2002, when the sun rises it shines down a channel, directly onto a monument with peoples names on it. This is then in line with the Australian flag. Its amazing to think that someone came up with this idea, but its a great tribute to those who died. I believe we just read that the UK is planning a tribute. Its 2005 now. There is at least 2 in Australia that we have been to and the UK has to wait 3 years before it can begin. Not good.
Soap Box moment over, we later went back to Andrea and Dean's where they took us out for dinner to Sizzlers. A great, all you can eat buffet, and one that Blake thoroughally enjoys. After eating (and Dean refusing to allow me and Sarah to pay for the meals, thankyou once again) we went back to the house, watched the film SAW (which when you are out in the bush, heightens the viewing pleasure of thriller/horror films) and had a few beers before getting some sleep.
11th June 2005
Today Sarah and me were given 2 options
. We could go to the pinnacles, a sight up north from Perth, or we could go out on a boat. No question about it, the boat. Dean is a little shy about the boat, saying its a bit small, but by Australian standards it may be. To mine and Sarah's standards it's bloody huge. And it was great fun. Looking a bit silly driving to the jetty whilst the rain is bucketing down, with a boat on the back of the car, we were having second thoughts, but we pushed on, and thankfully the rain stopped, the sun came out (all be it for a little while) and we went up the Swan river. We moored up just down from the Swan Bell Tower, and had some wine and beer before jumping ship so we could go to the loo. Turns out that where we had come ashore, it was slightly shallow and the current was a little strong, thus meaning it was going to take a bit of work to get the boat back out again. It wasn't long before Andrea, Dean and myself were all wet through, waist high in water trying to push a boat back out to the river. After a few hours we headed back home (not before spotting a very dead and very strange looking creature on the opposite shore from where we had struggled to get the boat back out to the river, picture will appear soon, answers on a postcard). Blake learned the valuable lesson of not spinning his socks around in his hands, as sometimes you let go by accident. He now has a sock happily floating around in the Swan River somewhere after spectacularly launching it over the side of the boat without even realising. Bless. As we were all a bit tired, it was some more drinks, food, film, then sleep ready for the next day.
12th June 2005
Another early start today as we went off to see Blake play football. Unfortunately his team lost 2-0, but they all had a good game, the weather was wet again, but it was good to see a ball being kicked around rather than the nonsense of using your hands and calling the game football
. The coach for his team Mundaring, was brilliant. He did nothing but praise all the kids who kicked a ball. Very positive, and not like the other coach who had 9 year old children running through fotball training drills an hour before the game. At 9 they are there to have a bit of fun, and not to compete in a world cup. After the football, it was back for a breakfast, then off to the airport to catch our flight to Cairns. It meant a connection in Melbourne but would mean we were in Cairns at 1am the following day. Andrea, Dean and Blake took us to the airport and saw us off, once again me and Sarah just want to say thanks for their hospitality. We had a great time and will be sure to keep in touch.
Once in Melbourne we used the Blue Room, the lounge reserved for Virgin passengers (backpacking in style) and then caught the connecting flight to Cairns. The crew on Virgin Blue were great. Their commentary is second to none. I quote:-"Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome aboard Virgin Blue. As you know we have an award winning company and an award winning staff, however none of them could be on this flight tonight so you're stuck with us. I'd like to introduce you to the crew. This is mandy, he's andy, thats sandy, and I'm Randy..... If we lose pressure in the cabin, masks will drop from the ceiling. After you have stopped screaming, please put the mask on like so...please take all luggage with you as anything left behind will be shared equally amongst the staff, husbands and children are not accepted"
They know how to put you at ease and have a laugh. It makes a nice change.