G’day! Well, we have spent our first six days in Australia successfully doing nothing. Well, not quite nothing, but there has been a lot of lying on the beach and swimming involved.
We arrived in Perth on Tuesday morning after a scary flight (lots of turbulence) and stepped off the plane into 30 degrees heat at 6am! We made it to our backpacker’s hostel in a seaside suburb of the city, Cottesloe. It is really beautiful here with lots of white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. There isn’t much in Cottesloe, just a few restaurants and bars and sun seekers. We spent the first few days relaxing and enjoying the sun, but soon got bored, so on Thursday we went into Perth CBD.
Perth is a stunning city. It is surrounded by water (the Swan River) and hills which contrast nicely with the few glittering sky scrapers in the city centre. Our first stop was the Museum of Western Australia, which had some really interesting exhibitions on. We learnt a lot about Australia’s involvement in WW1, the aboriginal culture and animals to be spotted in various states. The museum was also air-conditioned....a huge bonus! Afterwards, we walked down towards the waterfront and by the boats towards Kings Park. We climbed a (what felt like a mountain in the heat but was probably a hill) to reach the park. The climb was worth it. The views from the top were incredible. We could see the whole city beneath us and the gardens in the park were pretty and interesting, with a variety of botanical plants.
After an evening stroll through Kings Park, we headed down towards the city in search for something to eat. Now is probably a good time to mention how expensive it is here. We are really hoping that the high prices in Perth are not indicative of the whole of Australia, because if they are, we might be home next month! To give you an idea: a pint of larger is $10 (Australian dollars) which is around £7!!! Needles to say we have been buying food from the supermarket to eat in our room, because a few meals in Perth would probably bankrupt us. Anyway, we managed to find a reasonably priced pizza place for our meal in Perth, before we headed back to Cottesloe.
Friday saw more lolling on the beach and playing on body boards. Yesterday though, we caught the train to Freemantle, which is a small town to the South of Perth. We wandered around the town centre and market stalls, and we were able to do some useful things there, like swap reading material and withdraw some much needed dollar! We went to a ‘shipwreck museum’, which Dad would have found fascinating but it wasn’t my sort of thing, so we headed for a local brewery. The brewery ‘little creatures’ was housed in an old boat shed by the water and it was huge! It was packed with locals enjoying a Saturday afternoon treat, and we joined them in drinking a glass of local stuff. It was delicious and the atmosphere was great. A must for people watching!
Today we are having an ‘organising’ day in anticipation of the next few weeks ahead. Tomorrow we pick our campervan up and head south towards Margaret River (a world famous surfing and wine making spot). We will probably spend 3 nights around Margaret River and then go east to the Karri forests near Pemberton. Next Monday (28th), we will embark on our first WWOOFing placement. WWOOF stands for ‘Willing Workers On Organic Farms’. We are members of the scheme and have contacted host families to stay with between Perth and Sydney. So we will be joining the Herriott family at the vineyard, Herriott Wines, near Pemberton for a week. In exchange for 4 hours work a day, we receive free accommodation and food. Hopefully it will be a great way to meet new people and learn differing skills.
On the 8th March we are going to the Ullara Wildlife Sanctuary near Mt.Barker, which is a sanctuary for injured and orphaned kangaroos. After a week there, we have a very long drive to Adelaide, where we will drop the campervan off on the 26t March. The distance from Perth to Adelaide is the same distance as London to Moscow...so wish us luck!!
Right, time to get washing, packing and organising! I have outlined our plans for the coming month above as I am not sure when we will next get access to the internet. Living in a campervan for the next five weeks suggests that it may be some time, so sorry if you don’t hear from us for a while. Hopefully the host families will have an internet connection though, so we will try to update you with our WWOOFing stories before the end of March.
Sorry for the essay! Thank you for all your lovely comments. It is so nice to hear from people at home. Please keep them coming!
Love to all at home.