Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday, September 20th, Perth


Western Australia (WA) in the Spring reminds me of Provence, France.  Winegrowers, woodworkers, and dairy farmers who play and work hard, grow and serve great food, and build and live in strong villages and towns. WA is even about the same size as France, but with five percent of their population.  Even so, there are twice as many national parks, with four times as much land protected.  They’ve twice as much coastline, with warmer water and better surf. Trails and hiking and mountain-biking are very well-supported, and backpacker housing and hostels are easily found.  New caravan parks are being built, with an announcement today that twenty-nine were being equipped with wifi. 

So why not vacation there?  Recently, Asia has found out about it.  Malaysian and Chinese investments in tourism is soaring, with new airline routes being added each month.  Tours and RV rentals bringing Australians east are increasing.  But it’s a long way from anywhere.  About half-way around the world from many of you reading this.

On the negative side, there are no large wild animals.  I say negative because lots of people travel to see dangerous animals, and experience that thrill.  Feral pigs and kangaroos are the only threats to your safety, and only then if you run into them. 

Positively, whales and dolphins abound, and despite our historic slaughter, they’re very friendly.  Birds are colorful and sometimes noisy, but always unique.  This is a diving mecca, and those interested in shipwrecks and near-shore scuba adventures will not be disappointed.

But don’t try to do it quickly.  Western Australia is not for the fastfood vacationer filling every minute with high-rush opportunities.  This adventure has slow gourmet ingredients, and should be savored for lasting memories.

Friday, we rode a train out onto Western Australia's longest wooden timber jetty - to a large, submerged cannister in which we felt like we were in the aquarium - watching the sea life at the end of the pier.  

We're now sitting in the Perth Airport, having turned in our Apollo RV, and are waiting for four hours to take a flight to Adelaide.  The wifi is strong enough to check emails and post this, and we're eager to get into the second phase of this adventure.

After a few days in Adelaide, we'll use a rental car to drive via the Southern Coastal Highway to Melbourne.  Making the transition to hotels will be strange, and Pat's hoping the beds are a bit more supportive of her back.  I'm hoping they have better wifi.  And it will be different packing up our bags in and out of our rooms and car each night.  We have begun to get used to the RV life, and may consider doing it again later in the tour.

Here are some photos we took on Friday.

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