G'day everyone! Well, not quite there yet but I thought I just let you know that I have safely arrived in Oz although it was quite an experience.
After leaving Thailand, I spent 3 more days in Singapore as I didn't really get the chance to see much last night as I was only there for half a day. So this time, I thought, I do all the sight seeing bits, only to discover that there aren't really any sight seeing bits to do in Singapore!!!! Singapore is not that old and it doesn't really have any attractions but I enjoyed my time nonetheless. I visited Chinatown and Little India, went to the aquarium called 'Underwater Word', which was really amazing, and spent one night on the Night safari. Singapore's Underwater World is definitely worth a visit. It is great as you get the opportunity to touch some bamboo sharks, blue dotted stingrays, puffer fish, star fish and some other weird fish that swim towards you and then lay sideways when they brush against you! It was really cool and I must have spent at least 30 minutes touching the fish. They also have an underwater tunnel so that you feel like you are walking trough the fish, rather than diving. And there are lots of sharks and other really ugly looking fish, which I couldn't name. I managed to take some good photos and will upload them shortly.
The night safari was good too, although not as good as the aquarium. You had to sit on a tram and weren't allowed off as the tram was driving straight through the animals but never stopped. As you weren't allowed to use any flash photography, I didn't manage to take many photos. These animals just don't want to stand still, how inconsiderate!Bought a new camera as well, I decided that I wasn't going to regret not having the right camera when I got to Oz. Amazingly though, it appears that cameras are more expensive in Singapore than in the UK (on the internet), which I found hard to believe but seems to be true (I checked several places and they all had the same price).Anyway, on Wednesday morning I was off. A 4 hours 40 minutes flight got me into Australia, just about. We landed in Perth on time. Emigration was no problem although I feared that they might confiscate my Tetley tea bags and you are not meant to bring any food into Oz but they let me off. Got the shuttle bus into the city centre but nearly fell of my chair as it cost me $20, approximately 10 pounds! I haven't paid that much money for a bus for the last 5 months! But this was only the start....
I initially booked the youth hostel for one night only as I wasn't sure how much time I wanted to spend in Perth itself and thought I could sort it out once I got there. WRONG!!!! For whatever reason, and nobody seems to know why, Perth is fully booked, and not just my hostel but all hostels! So when I was looking forward to my afternoon snooze, I had a panic attack instead trying to find somewhere to stay for the day after. After 2 hours on the internet and an unsuccessful trip to the tourist information (only just managed to get in there as they close at 5:30pm) I went to the YHA reception and asked what they suggest I do as I couldn't find anywhere to stay in Perth itself or surroundings. The guy at reception asked what I was looking for, so I said 3 nights of accommodation, and he said that they just had a cancellation and would I like to have the room. Would I? DEFINETELY! So I was very lucky to have overcome this problem. By this time it was already 7pm and I was absolutely starving so I decided to walk into town to get something to eat. Well, again, that's easier said than done as not many restaurants seem to be open on weekday's evenings, not in the part of town I looked at least. Eventually, I found a pizzeria and had spaghetti with pesto sauce, which cost me $16, just for the food, no drinks! I could have eaten for nearly a week in Asia for that kind of money!
So you will probably understand why I felt like getting on the first flight home when I arrived. It was more of a culture shock than travelling in Asia, I can tell you. Really weird. I have got used to it a little bit by now, so I will be staying out here for a wee while longer. Will be spending the next 4 weeks travelling along the West coast before either heading into Darwin or straight to Ayres Rock, not sure yet. Obviously, I will keep you updated and I will upload the photos later on today. Oh before I forget, there was one pleasant surprise when I got to Oz, it is only in its mid twenties here, so you hardly sweat which makes a very pleasant change from Asia, especially from Thailand and Singapore, where temperatures were hardly ever below the 40 degree mark!
So let me know how spring is back home and what you are up to. And of course, don't forget to keep smiling!