Location: Journey Perth to UK, Australia
Early start got all my luggage into the car and set off to the international airport at about 7.15 am. My flight with Royal Brunei was not leaving until 11.40 I had plenty of time to spare. ( They say 3 hours before to check in) I managed to find a petrol station on the way and filled it up then reached the airport, left the car, checked the GPS in and then went to departures to check in to the flight. The lounge was not in operation so the airline gave me a $25 token for food or drinks!.. bit of a nightmare really as there was not very much to choose from once through passport control.
I did a bit of shopping, found a nice warm sweater to wear at Heathrow and then eventually boarded at 10.50.
The flight was good, nice food and drink, and it took about 6 hours to Brunei. I watched the ground below.. the beautiful colour of the north of WA and the markings of dried up rivers. It is where all the mining is going on. Then flew over the Kimberleys
and up over Bali, Jakata and landed in Brunei. Daressalam airport Bandi (or something!). It was sweltering hot
thank God for air conditioned business class lounge for the almost 6 hour wait for the next flight to Dubai. It got dark and eventually we boarded at 8.15pm (London time 1.15pm and 1 hour behind Perth) The rest of the journey was in the dark! We landed at Dubai airport after about 8 hours and then had to walk about the airport for a while to fill in time while the aircraft refuelled. I had a really nice chat to a man who was travelling to Germany to visit relatives. We shared a had luggage trolley! Then off we went again and on this part of the flight I managed to sleep for a short while and doze a bit. I watched MummaMia and Wall E films
however Wall E was so hectic towards the end that I got a headache and had to switch it off! I dont know what happened in the end!! Sadly this flight had no map with the indicator as to where we were flying over so I dont know the route. But I guess we travelled back the same way we came. Over Vietnam, Thailand, India, Iraq and then from Dubai north over Turkey and then the Black Sea and Eastern Europe Then Germany and down to UK. There was a beautiful view of London in the darkness with all the lights. We had to circle round about 6 times.
We touched down at Heathrow on Tuesday Morning at 6.15 am and I was met by Giles. It was cold!!
Giles drove back home and then we fixed him a hire car for the week ( he had no car!) and I flopped into bed at 5pm exhausted!
Lovely to be back.
A big thank you and a big 'God bless you' to everyone who has been following me on this journey!! I think that there have been about 20 people who have been clocking in every day or so. It has been great doing this diary again and I have had a really lovely trip. And up to now I have had 283 hits to this page. Thank you!!
BYE BYE until my next trip!! Happy Christmas!
Location: Perth, Australia
Sunday - Last day here
Got up early and had brekkie, tidied up and did a bit of packing. Then I drove round to Rae to fetch her and we went to the Perth Cathedral for the Communion Service. There was a bicycle race or rally on all round the local roads and on the freeway so there were diversions and we couldnt get onto the bridge to cross over the river to the City. So I drove to another exit and made a circuit following the bikes and we arrived at the Cathedral in time. It was a lovely service and there was a wonderful choir and incense etc. Afterwards we went to have a coffee in the hall and met with a friend of Raes and then we went down to the Quayside to have a sandwich lunch. It was really lovely and warm and I sat in the sun. There were intermittent spits of rain from time to time
rather like English April weather only warmer! I drove back round the City to see the Christmas decorations. Angels, stars and snowflakes! I cant get my head around the Christmas thing being in the summer! There was a rave party going on too which was really noisy so we headed back home. I dropped Rae off and went back to the apartment to finish my packing etc then when all was done I took the rest of my unused food and a few items back to Raes at about 5 and we had a cup of tea. We said our farewells and I left. I met with George and Coralie for a really nice meal in the Curry Restaurant downstairs. They left at about 9.30 and I went and had an early night having got everything ready for an early start in the morning for the airport. I checked out of the hotel just in case I had to leave before the hotel reception staff were not there in the morning
Saturday 22nd November
Well when I looked out of the window this morning when I woke and saw the brilliant sunshine again I actually felt like I needed to feel a cool breeze again!! I must be needing my home! It was only for a moment though because I do love this warmth. I felt it to be quite heavy today though and there were a lot of clouds around. Anyway I did my washing and then Rae phoned me at 12. I was about to go to her house to pick her up and it started pelting with rain so I waited until it stopped.
Norma, Raes next door neighbour, had very kindly given her a lamington for me, which is an Australian cake that I had never heard of!! So we went over to thank her and had a nice chat with her and her son who is an actor. The Lamington word cropped up in a childrens story book that Rae has given me for the family and I didnt know what it was! Now I do!! I will make some at home!
We had been invited by James and Vicki and family to meet them for lunch in Applecross at a lovely restaurant which looks out over the Swan River towards the City. We arrived and met up it was sunny again by then but it was a very grey sky. The restaurant normally has tables outside and James had booked one but because the forecast was showers they moved our table inside. Just as well because the downpour came while we were eating! We wandered outside afterwards and along the riverside where I took a few photos of us all. It was really good to see them all again before I come back it was a really lovely lunch.
I drove Rae home via the Canning River which is the other Perth River which runs into the Swan River to make the very wide area just by the City. We walked along by the shore by the paper bark trees which I find fascinating. The aborigines apparently used them for artwork and writings.
I dropped Rae back and picked up the lamington! - some of which I ate with a cup of tea when I got back to the apartment. I was quite tired and had a bit of a rest then sat out in the sun on my balcony.
Tomorrow is my last day started packing. Went to book a table for tomorrow night as George and Coralie are coming over for a curry in the restaurant next door to the hotel.
Location: Perth, Australia
Friday 21st November
Got up early and I went to the hairdresser up the road and had a trim and blow dry which has improved my look but I still look like me!
Back to the apartment at about 11am and phoned Rae to see if she wanted any help with anything. She said she was not doing anything special so I popped round. I walked with her down to the Office and Community centre in her retirement village to fetch her box of flowers Fleur de rae (she keeps there because she sells them). I wanted to choose from to bring some home. Then we had a little lunch and I left her at 3ish to go back to the apartment to meet up with Davids cousins Mike and Pam. They arrived at 3.30pm and brought their twin 3 year old grandsons. We walked to a café and had a cup of tea and the boys had ice lollies. We all walked down to the river and over the big bridge to the pathway along the forshaw. We sat and chatted for about an hour while the children played on the playground and in the sandpit. We said our farewells and they went back to deliver the twins to their mum.
At 5.30 I went round to pick Rae up as we had been invited to a pot luck supper with her Unitarian friends. It was a lovely evening. It was a bring and share supper and there was a lovely spread!. We all then sat down and watched a DVD of the film As it is in heaven. It was very good and one which will stay with me. It is a good story made in Sweden and subtitled. Rae and a number of other people had seen it before as it was made in 2004. Then we had a tea/coffee and chat afterwards. We got home at about 10.45pm. It was a good evening with nice people.
Hey folks, by the way I am prompted by John and Liz's Christmas card message to Rae .. her first Christmas card for this year!!... 'hope Moira's arm is better' - yes my arm which was so bruised by the possum attack completely healed quite quickly... took about a week to fade! Sorry for those who have been worried! my arms are really nice and sun bronzed now too!! and I have a seriously white watch mark. (na na ni na naa! )
Location: Perth, Australia
Thursday 20th November
I spent all morning flopingand just getting all my paperwork sorted and things ready to pack my case. I seem to have collected masses of brochures, maps and information details from all sorts of places. As paper is heavy I have had to throw out most of it and found it quite hard! I love to look back on things but it is impossible to pack it. I am thinking that it is only 3 more days before I fly back home. I think I am ready now, I like being away and it has been amazing to do so much in these 6 weeks. Also what is lovely this time travelling in Australia is the lack of stress I have done it all in my own time and had chill out days too. This is what today is!! At mid-day I walked up to the shops and made myself a hair appointment ( my mother will be pleased!!), posted a letter, bought a fruit drink and some watermelon and then wandered back to the hotel. I had some light lunch and then went out in the car to the RiverView church. I hoped that the bookshop was open because I wanted to have a look around but when I arrived it all looked very closed. Never mind I will go back another time before I leave.
Drove over to Raes at 4pm and she took me out in her car to Applecross to see the Jacaranda trees in full bloom. I was absolutely amazed as they are such an awesome sight. I had never seen these purpley-blue trees before and so took some pictures. Applecross is the suburb of Perth where Rae used to live and each year they have a Jacaranda Festival it is known as the Jacaranda capital of W. Australia. This year the festival is next weekend so I will miss it. We stopped in the little shopping centre and Rae bought one or two things and she treated me to tea for two in a café. We sat under a Jacaranda tree! Then we drove round the suburb to see all the trees in flower which is quite a sight ( see my pictures) and then back to Raes house.
I drove back to the apartment and cooked some supper while watching the sun set over the Swan River. It started raining this afternoon for a bit when we were out and it has just begun again while I write this at 8.45 pm. ( 11.45 am in UK). Everyone smiles when it rains here because there has been well below average rainfall again this year. Let it Rain! It is still lovely and warm tonight
I guess 21 degrees even now.
Location: Perth, Australia
Wednesday 19th November
I have been spending this evening catching up with my blog!! Here it is. All these new posts back since the 15th my last day at the shelter in Victoria.
Today, I woke at 8.30 which is late for me
must have been tired! Had lovely brekkie and did washing up then got dressed and sat on the balcony. Really nice warm day again about 28 degrees. How I love summer clothes!! I will really miss this warm weather when I return next Monday.
Drove round to Raes at 12 and then we went off to the coast to meet up with her friend Janet who had invited us to lunch. It was lovely to see the Ocean again. It is so bright blue and the sand is so white. The car I have hired is a Toyota Corolla hatchback and it is nice to drive. We had a lovely lunch with salady things and a cup of tea and I showed them some of the photos of Jon and Gayle at the shelter. We drove back at about 4.30 just to be ahead of the rush hour traffic. We went back on the main Freeway which a Motorway. We went back to Raes and I helped her check the vegetable garden and picked some lovely spinach for my supper. I drove back and sat out on my hotel balcony and watched the yachts sailing on the Swan River followed by a beautiful sunset. I have just closed the balcony door at 10.30 pm as it is so warm probably have to use the air con tonight as I was really hot last night in the room.
Location: Perth, Australia
How time is going by! Did my washing, boring stuff !!
Drove round to Raes for lunch and then took her to her appointment in the afternoon we got back at about 5.30 so I just dropped her back to her place and then had a quiet evening sorting out stuff!
Spoke to Mike and George re meeting up this week. It is lovely to have so many family in this country!
Location: last day at the shelter, Australia
Monday 17th November
My last day at the shelter. The crew came again (German lady producer + cameraman and soundman) and there were quite a few volunteer helpers. I helped with feeding the animals again. Helped organize the schoolgirl helpers to wash the windows. Gayle had to take the little head injured joey to the vet who decided after examining it fully that it was too badly injured to recover so it had to be euthanased.
Filming took loads of time and both Jon and Gayle who were amazing with the camera crew they were so natural and interesting. Answering questions with ease. It is really good to know that the website that we created last year was the instigation (or one of them) of this documentary. The producer really likes the site and was very impressed. www.hepburnwildlifeshelter.com is the link.
Well as time was getting on I decided to get my stuff together and get ready to go. I went to Daylesford with a shopping list and then at about 6pm I left them all and drove off to Melbourne Airport to catch my Virgin Blue flight to Perth. (It takes hour and a half drive, and three and a half flight time)
I arrived in Perth at about 11pm (2 hours difference - behind ) Hired a car and drove down to the hotel. Nice to be back in Perth again
Location: Hepburn Wildlife Shelter, Australia
Sunday 16th November
Film crew arrived at 9am and began to look around the house and outside to suss out what was going to happen. It was a bit of an intrusion to the daily routine and there was a lot more for me to do including feeding various birds in the aviaries. Tahini the emu and the alpacas, plus other cleaning jobs. Gayle and Jon were involved with filming and answering questions about all kinds of things. I managed to finish the knitting task that I had begun when I was there 10 days before. One of the volunteers came in to make up some feeds and other tasks.
One of the little ill kangaroo joeys died last night which is always sad. He had been traumatised after his mother had been killed by dogs and he was never able to calm down so his immune system eventually failed and he caught a nasty virus infection. The other little joey that is in a very bad way has had a head injury.
We have all been invited to lunch at Michael and Beths in Ballarat so we left the shelter I took my car too just in case there was a call out. J and G took the ill joey and the little pinky with them as they need constant care.
We had a really lovely lunch and Gayles parents (Mary and Brian) were there too. We arrived back at the shelter at about 6pm for the evening feeding time.
None of us felt like much supper and I went to bed at about 11.30 leaving them to get on with the night stuff.