We spent a whole day and night travelling from Phuket to Singapore, then Singapore to Perth and arrived at 12.30am WA local time. It was too late to find any public transport so forked out for a taxi- our first taste of paying Australian rates instead of Thai ones, which was quite a shock!
Once we'd had a good nights sleep, we looked out the window to the brightest blue skies we'd seen in weeks! We took a walk round the banks of the Swan River to the harbour and checked out the free bus systems here (free is currently Craigs favourite word!) We also had our first night making our own dinner in a communal kitchen- very interesting; peeling potatoes with bread kinves, putting out toaster fires, using saucepans without handles and falling over people in the queue for the noodle microwave. Since the weather here is so lovely, we have been investing in books and taken the opportunity of book swap libraries found in most hostels to check out various parks and have picnics whilst reading. We had a few days looking around Perth, window shopping and sight seeing; the CBD- especially at night with its bright colours, Northbridge- the cultural part of the city and Kings Park.
We moved on to a small, coastal town called Fremantle after a few days and managed to experience a small rain shower (the first Perth had had in 5 months- just our luck!) but after 10 mins we were able to get out and found Fremantle to be quiet and verging on quaint with its small little bakeries, local boutiques and a friendly atmosphere which was nice. The dorm we stayed in wasnt too bad either, our first time staying in a dorm room went well although walking through common areas to the showers in our pijamas will take some getting used to! We stayed in Fremantle another day, finding a brewery that loaned out bikes for the day and rode along the stunning coastal paths meeting local women who couldnt wait to tell us about the local history and having proper chip shop chips on the beach. All in all we liked Fremantle or "Freo" as the Australians call it and headed back to Perth.
We had already booked a 2 night stay in the backpacking area of Northbridge, Perth so when we arrived we werent impressed to find they hadnt checked their booking system and had no beds for us. We were sent to what can only be described as an absolute dive and told that was the only place available for tonight- the room we had been assigned was so filled with rubbish, shoes and clothes we could barely open the door and there was a nice body odour smell to match it! We complained but couldnt get our money back so were forced to stay! We moved beds about 3 times due to the staff not knowing which of the beds were free (the "freshly made beds" looked exactly the same as the slept in ones) and stuck it out with the dead cockroach in the middle of the kitchen floor, the loud inconsiderate asian who snored louder than id ever heard (yes mum- thats including you!!) and the constant smell of stale smoke, body odour and feet!
Unsurprisingly we moved hostels with a sense of achievement we had made it out alive and despite our initial shock of the huge price jump here (having gone from spending 6pounds on an air-conditioned suite with a tv to a 30pound a night, basic dorm room) we are both very much enjoying Perth with its huge green parks, beautiful weather and friendly attitudes. We have now booked a domestic flight to Melbourne for the 13th of April which we are both looking forward to so we shall update you all then!!