When we arrived in Perth at gone 2am on 6/2/2013, I was scared about going through customs after thinking about watching that programme on telly when they are really tough and touchy on things you can bring in (you know when you start feeling like a criminal for no reason...) but we went through fine, breathed a sigh of relief and high fived accordingly!
Got a taxi to our last-minute-booked accomodation at a house in central Perth (found on AirBNB) who we'd warned about arriving super late into the night however when we got to the house, no-one was answering the door or mobiles for a good 15 mins! After our flight and the fact it was nearly 3am, we understandably started getting a bit tetchy and began banging harder and harder on the door and windows to try and get their attention! After what seemed like much longer than it was in reality, Josh (host) let us in and we dived into bed asap.
The next day after having a wonderful nights sleep, we had a look around the house and really loved it. The set-up is x3 brothers (all younger than me!) have bought this huge mansion in central Perth and are renovating it whilst setting up a business. Downstairs in the mansion during the day they have set up a blossoming music school with a nice, contemporarily decorated seating room featuring a modest cafe with soft, relaxing music being played; that we were allowed to also chill out in. The brothers teach various musical things as well as getting external teachers for students. They rent out the rooms upstairs to people who want to stay there (us). The brothers that we met were Josh and Andy, we also met their Mum because she was working in the cafe in the seating area downstairs AND she gave me a free cup of coffee :) a really lovely family, the brothers were really helpful with helping us find places we needed to in Perth, drawing maps etc. With the music school downstairs too, the whole place had a great atmosphere and I loved staying there.
We'd booked to stay there for x3 nights till Friday 8th Feb because that's when we were going to stay with Darren and Laura in Stoneville, near Mundaring. From central Perth, its probably a good 50 mins away in the car, but we had planned to take the train to Midland (20 mins away) then Darren was driving onto his house in Stoneville.
Wednesday 6th Feb we went wandering around Perth. Walking in one direction for 7 mins we reached the main train station in Perth and the main shopping strip, Hay Street. Walking in another direction from the house for 7 mins we reached an area called Northbridge which has some really good restaurants, cafes and bars. Perth is quite a small City so we found our way round pretty quick. Nathan bought himself a new toy, an i-pad mini! I checked out the Aussie clothes shops and I found their version of Topshop - 'General Pants & Co'! Also found a good charity shop (Aussie's call them 'op shops') called Good Sammys and bought myself some new tops and a hat to keep the sun off my head. The hat was the best $4 I've ever spent as I wear it everyday now! That night we found an Indian restaurant down William Street in Northbridge called Mela where we ordered a whole tandoori chicken to share between us and it knocked our socks off! It was absolutely delicious, we agreed that it was the best we'd had since we were in Malaysia 2 years ago! I took their business card to remember the name/location of the
place and we passed our sparkling compliments onto the chef.
On Thursday 7th February we got the train to Fremantle. Fremantle is about 20 mins on the train away from Perth and is the nearest, largest port town to Perth. Its quite touristy but its lovely because its by the sea and it has alot of colonial buildings, it has a great seaside town atmosphere. We walked around and found a super cool music shop selling vinyls, tapes, cds etc! We sat in a cafe next door to grab a drink, sat outside and we could hear the record shops music over the cafe's music! Paul McCartney and The Wings, Band on the Run were playing, I need to buy it so we can road-trip listening to it! That night back in Perth we had an early dinner at a vegetarian Indian cafe called Govindas
where they sell a plate of home-made Indian food for $5! Compared to every other restaurant we'd come accross, this was dirt cheap! Nathan was pretty offended by the 'vegetarian' thing but ate there anyway. I didnt know exactly what I was eating, but found it absolutely delicious and an absolute gem of a find! $5 for a hot Indian meal and free drinking water?! Does life get any better?!
On Friday 8th, the guys were really relaxed with check-out times so we were able to stay in our room till 3pm, right upto when we were gunna catch the train to meet Darren. We got lunch at some Greek cafe then played Bananagram to waste time till the train. We were actually contemplating getting a taxi to the train station because its so darn hot outside and our bags are heavy but Andy (host) saved the day by offering to give us a lift to the train station as he was going out too -
I have to keep reminding myself that we don't have to have plans for every single day. We are here for a year and back home in real life, we wouldnt have things to do everyday so the same should be applied whilst we are here too. If we did something touristy and fun everyday our money would probs only last a matter of weeks!
Things here are so expensive, so much more than in England. We keep being told its because of the mining boom thats going on in WA but it doesn't make it any easier to swallow! For example in McDonalds in the UK, to make a burger into the meal they normally add around £1.50 - here they add $4. Nathan had a footlong sandwich at Subway and it set him back $11 - equating to around £8. Any can of soft drinks normally costs over $3, even from a supermarket! A pitch at a campsite costs between $28-$38 per night ....... in Malham, Yorkshire we paid about a fiver a night! We have found some cheaper shops though and we do
shop around where possible.
Written by Stacey