A slightly unexpected visit to Perth but what a great part of the country!
I hadn't planned to go here given that I only had 2 months in Oz, but the way things had worked out I ended up with a week to see somewhere different and I'd always said it would be great to meet up with Craig and Laura again.
C&L had been in Perth for a couple of weeks already as Lisa (Laura's sister) lives there and had given them a place to stay for a while. Lisa was great and said I could stay there as well so I got to live in a real home for a few days, it was great!
The day after I got there was Lisa's birthday and she was having a picnic in a local national park. When we got there there was a koala talk and we got to see koalas living in the trees. Then we had lunch by a huge lake and whilst eating, a kangaroo came along to see what was going on. By the end of the day we'd seen tonnes of 'roos.
The next day we went in search of a hire car for our upcoming road trip. We found one in the end and whilst Laura was out for a meal with her Mum and sisters, Ryan, Craig and I went to a nearby dam and had a few beers overlooking the water seeing a few more kangaroos on the way.
Then our roadtrip began (although not before I sneaked in a training session with the Perth canoe polo club - thanks guys!). We drove down near to a place called Margaret River. We ended up staying in Gracetown where we pitched our tents for the night and had a BBQ dinner with Ryan, Jess, Nico and Amy who'd driven down the same day. Craig wanted to try and find the Liverpool game on TV but we didn't have any luck finding a pub open after 10 on a Sunday.
The next day we went to explore the area south of where we were. We went to a couple of beaches, some had amazing blue water and awesome waves (if only we could surf!). Another beach we found had lush sand and really calm water so we had a swim. I'll get pictures up soon as I can't describe them in words. We got all the way down near Augusta where the boundary between the Southern and the Indian ocean is set. We had a picnic lunch by the sea and then headed back to meet up with the others and watched the sunset at Gracetown beach. Thankfully this sunset wasn't blocked by clouds.
It was already time for the girls and Ryan had to head back to Perth. We had a bit more time so spent the day slowly driving towards there. First stop was a winery which was the first one we saw signs for. It was a bit out of the way and we weren't sure to expect but the guy who came out was really nice! He gave us tasters of the wines and a good explanations. Then the conversation went a bit more general and he started giving us advice on places to see. Before long we'd pretty much got our whole day planned out! In the next few hours we'd tasted Chocolate, Liqueur, Cheese and two lots of beer from different breweries. We also had a famous pie from Dunsborough - v tasty! To finish the night we set up our tent in Yallingup and saw the most awesome sunset I've seen in Australia and possibly anywhere.
Somehow my time in WA was coming to a close already so we started the drive back up towards Perth. We stopped off in Fremantle (Freo) and had a look around. It's a really cool place with loads of bars, restaurants and shops. My last night over here was spent eating another amazing roast chicken sarnie and having a few beers in the pool - not really the life of a backpacker ;-)
It was sad to say goodbye to Craig and Laura. Hopefully it's not too long before they come back to the UK but it was an amazing week and one to remember!