I struggled this morning. Drinks the night before and only 2 hours of sleep did not make for a good start. Plus I woke up absolutely busting and having spent my last night with the car sleeping IN the car I wasn't entirely sure how to solve my predicament. I hopped out and ran around like a headless chicken, and found to my complete dismay that the public toilets were not open for another hour. Just my luck. Ambling up the path squirming and receiving some strange looks from the early risers, relief swept over me as I found a coffee shop which was open. I purchased a flat white and made a dash for it just in the nick of time!
Feeling happy I made my way back to the car to drink my coffee then headed back to the same place for breakfast. I ordered poached eggs on toast and a green smoothie which I ate very slowly as I really was not feeling on top form. Swaying slightly and willing the hangover away I managed to force down my breakfast, realising what a mission of a day I had ahead of me. I bid a very fond farewell to Fremantle (without waking Laurie up) and headed for Perth.
I eventually found a car wash, and then proceeded to clear all of the utter crap out of the car. It took me the best part of an hour. Amazing how much clutter appears after 3 weeks of living on the road! $89 and about half an hour later the car was looking very sleek and pristine so I set off to the Merriam's.
The house is beautiful - one floor and a HUGE open space kitchen and living area. I am staying in their son Rob's room and I have my own double bed and bathroom, even my own quarters which shuts off to the rest of the house! They even have a swimming pool, although Charles has warned me that it is not suitable for swimming just yet as the filter has been off whilst they have been away visiting Rob in Chile for the past few weeks.
Charles made us both a lunch of soup, bread and salad and then we headed back to Perth to drop off the car. After a very quick (and somewhat lacklustre) inspection I was all good to go. It was a day of fond farewells and I felt slightly sad that my time with the car was over. After the initial scepticism upon receiving it, having realised it was over 20 years old and had done 450,000km, I couldn't have been happier with its performance. Never put a foot (well, wheel) wrong, never ran out of gas, never got a flat tyre and got me out of some sticky situations in the national parks having taking a wrong turn etc etc. A last look at my loyal accomplice, my trusty steed and we rounded the corner and she was gone . So long little Lowac, may your next drivers not run you into the ground quite so much!
Back to the house I just had a ponder over what I wanted to do over the next few days, browsing the leaflets and sipping on a wonderful cup of tea. Charles and I then took their daughter's ridiculous Papillon dogs, Pattie and Felix, out for a walk to the park up the road. They had a run about, we chatted and Charles took me to the Swan River to show me the view which was of course beautiful, then headed back where Majo was waiting. We sat on the front porch guzzling some white wine and knocking back some peanuts, had a dinner of leftover spag marinara (which had seafood in it... and muscles. Yuck. But nice apart from that!) and then went to bed eager to catch up on the lost sleep from the night before.
Charles and Majo have been incredibly welcoming and really lovely and nice to chat to.