After an uneventful flight on Qantas and we arrived in Perth: the land of no worries and everything else ending in 'ies'.
A private transfer to our hotel, Sullivan's, which was ideally positioned on the water front . The next day Her Indoors decided we would cycle using the hotel bikes. After a 2 hour, Wiggo inspired check-in, in which an entire maintenance crew was required, we set off following the South Perth cycle trail. We passed many lovely houses, a la Grand designs, which kept me busy and Her checking out all the other cyclists.
We eventually made the centre of Perth for breakfast at Tiffin, Indian I thought, but there you go. No worries.
We then visited the Perth mint and watched a gold pore which was preceded by a number of stats as to how the accountants track the number of grams lost in each pour that attach to the sides of the receptacles. Very interesting.
We then spent a night walking the streets of Perth (refer to Singapore blob for a worrying correlation), until there was light, namely Tony Roma's. We had luckily bi-passed the Lucky Shag bar en route.
The next day we travelled to Rottnest Island by ferry and her indoors needed to beg sea sickness pills. On arrival we hired bikes. Our leader said we could cycle around the entire island as the ferry back didn't leave until 4.25pm and so we had lots of time. I said I think it goes earlier but she knew best ..... The cycling on traffic free roads looking at ocean vistas and the stark interior was great . We had intended snorkelling but the water was freezing . We managed to catch an earlier ferry which just turned up ...............
Impressions of Perth were favourable: a lovely setting, clean, lots of cycle paths and a go-ahead attitude.
The next day we started our 4352 km Indian pacific rail journey. On being allocated our cabin (M 5&6) on the one kilometre long train her indoors said she would check out the, all-inclusive, restaurant and bar area. I said I would take in the vistas. Some time later, Her Indoors, henceforth "Bubbles" returned saying "You must, hick, come to the, hick , bar it's great!" (by now you might have guessed the alcohol was free!) Lunch was soon provided and "Bubbles" despatched the first of many Chardonnay / Pinot sparking a wines . The food throughout the trip was truly first class
We left the afternoon for "bubbles" to sober up. However, she refreshed the alcohol levels over supper. That evening we reached Kalgoolie, the centre of gold mining in Australia. We visited the superpit, which is 700 meters deep and is mined 24 / 7. On Christmas Day they, need to pay triple time to keep it going ......... Sounds like the civil service in the UK ?
Another morning and her indoors was pored into the town of Cook with population of 4, all of which turned out to see the train. It used to be a bustling town of 40!!!!!! How can 4 or 40 be a 'town'? Still, no time to ponder that because another bottle awaited "bubbles".
Onward to Adelaide where we had a quick tour of what is a fairly boring city still, I think, a bit caught in the 1950's.
Back on the train where the new crew had, luckily, not been passed the alcohol consumption stats of "bubbles". The journey was therefore able to continue . Next stop was the town of Broken Hill, the location of the giant BHP Billiton conglomerate today. Whilst the town was uninteresting, it did have a feel of frontier living . Apparently the Priscilla queen of the desert film was shot here!!!!!
A last ride into Sydney and a last bottle for "bubbles" before we visited AA and the train company worked out why it had not made a profit.
In Sydney we moved into our apartment in the Meriton block. Very good with a kitchenette and all mod cons. Next day we joined a walking tour of the city which eventually reached the harbour where we saw the opera house and bridge etc. Really impressive. Lots of stats thrown at us about convicts and how Adelaide had none, Perth a few and Sydney some 80000. When you think about that's a lot of people in Victorian times. It was now that disaster dawned ..... Tony Roma's in Sydney had closed in June!
Good weather allowed us to take a ferry the, next day, to walk from Bondi beach to Coogee via the structures by the sea which range from rubbish to very good. The walk itself was brilliant and we saw whales out at sea. Our last day, in Sydney saw, us take another ferry, this time to Manly Island and we then walked around the Spit, but not as far as we would like because a storm was approaching. Still, her indoors swam in above, deserted yet no more then 30 mins from the centre of town. That night we visited darling harbour, witness to weekly fireworks displays which puts ours to shame. A 30 minute free event and even better if, like us, you can view it from your restaurant .
Impressions of Sydney are that it's clearly a happening place with no worries, lots of schoolies, tinnies and some people who dress rather strangely . At no time did we however feel threatened, no worries.
We have now hired a car and are in the Blue Mountains. The aforementioned storm has well and truly arrived and our visibility over the wonderful vista is 1 meter. Yes, 1. That resulted in us looking out of windows saying that "it will clear won't it?", but I'm not hopeful of that happening before we leave for Hunter Valley. Still it did leave us time to visit the local Yellow Deli run by the Amish folks who, however, do make a good smoothie. We had decided to walk the, 1 mile there and....you've guessed it - we got soaked!
Every hopeful of a gust of wind, (no, not her indoors after a curry), but one to allow that one camera, opportunity ...... Still no worries