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Sha’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2008

Location: Fremantle, Perth, Australia

MapWell finally made it to Perth yesterday 41 days after leaving Bundaberg and approximately 12000kms! Must apologise for not updating my blog since Cairns! Just never really got much chance to see a computer let alone want to sit further after 9 hours in a car some days!

It’s gone by really quick and so has my money! I start to look for work once again today. Technically I’m hiding out in Fremantle just south of Perth. It seems to be a really nice area with lots for me to do and explore over the next few months with the extra benefit of Perth city a stones throw away (a bonus what with all the great festivals coming up).

Still less of my daydreaming and let me tell you about what has happened.

Well Triin, Ringo and I set off from Cairns after going on the won trip to the croc farm. That was a pretty cool got to see a couple of wild crocs in the river before seeing the beasties close up behind wire at the farm. Then we took the road across to a place called Mt. Surprise – that lived up to its name! This was true Aussie outback spirited place that really felt like it had its soul at the heart of the little community (which had a crook sense of humour). After passing swiftly through Mt. Isa; Cloncurry and Tenant Creek stopping briefly at the Devils Marbles and Wycliff Well (UFO capital of OZ) avoiding road kill and camels we made it to Alice Springs road wary and dusty red.

At Alice Ringo and I went and checked out the cultural centre which included art galleries, aviation and history museum and later on an English themed pub. Next day we headed for Ayres Rock arriving in time for a quick beer before sunset!

I have to admit Ayres Rock was truly breath takingly gorgeous. We weren’t blessed with the best sunset or sunrise while there but I took my charm of drought breaker and just after we finished walking around it the next day the heavens started to slowly unzip. Dodging Red Kangaroos drinking on the road, it wasn’t until we were at Kings Canyon that the heavens burst and the thunderstorm rocked the canyon for the whole night giving the locals the first rain for 8 months (I love the way Aussies run outside when it rains and start cheering!). Luckily there was a pub in throwing distance to camp so with only one option we got very drunk (spending the next day nursing hangovers).

So we made it out of Kings Canyon and back to Alice Springs with the storm continuing to follow us. We said goodbye to Triin here she decided to part our company to find work, she’s since moved onto a place called Berri in SA to pick oranges!

So Ringo and I left Alice Springs and back tracked up to Tenant Creek (with storm in tail). We had a shock when we got to Katherine it was sunny and 35 degrees! Only one thing to do but become a local and drink ice cold beer and get drunk! Sweating madly and no storm in sight we made it to Darwin the next day and set out for a river cruise down the croc infested Adelaide River to see the world famous jumping crocs and other wildlife. Well this cruise made the crocs in Cairns look like teddy bears! Fearless and legless they jumped with killer instinct to take their snack of pork, and eye up the tasty looking tourists on board!

Next day still sweating we headed off to Fannie Bay and checked out the old Gaol followed by the museum a bit more history with a walk down through the WWII oil storage tunnels topped off with yes a few coldies at the pub (when in Rome). Next day it was the aviation museum which houses a B52, where we had a really interesting guided tour around it (yes followed by more beer at some stage in the day!).

Saying our good byes to Darwin it was time to clock up more kms and we headed for the WA border after off loading our onions at the quarantine post we headed to Lake Argyle for the night. Here’s a nerdy fact for you Lake Argyle is a man-made reservoir which apparently holds up to 8 times more water than Sydney Harbour. It’s absolutely beautiful there and incredibly to see so much water inland in Australia.

Uneventful drive to Broome though the countryside of the Kimberley is stunning and I spent the next 2 days drinking beer and wishing I had a 4x4 and limitless money to explore the numerous national parks in the Region.

In Broome the temperature was more reasonable, not sweating quiet so profusely we managed a visit to the Port and Matso’s brewery (beer belly growing well), see the dinosaur footprints at Gautheume Point, take in a swim and sunset at Cable Beach and laugh at the local ALF team running drunk and naked down the middle of the main street (and not get arrested – that’s how laid back Broome is!).

Before long again it was time to hit the road. With our final destination of Perth getting closer and the money becoming thin we push on and manage to overnight at Port Hedland. This is a town with the soul purpose of housing the employees of the various industrial centres which included a salt and iron ore mines. We braved our luck and went to the only pub in town adding to the belly while watching the local rough looking woman get drunk with the rougher looking men! The town’s best asset was the great sunset over the Port and the night sky becoming illuminated turning the skyline into a city scape.

Next stop was Coral Bay at the southern end of the Ningaloo Reef. Where we braved the freezing water temperatures to snorkel with the fishes and stand amongst the huge tasty looking snapper as they were fed. Soon it was time to leave the sun, sea and sand behind for another day and drive to Denham (the most westerly town in Australia). Leaving the tropics behind us we suddenly encountered jumper and jeans weather again! Though the weather stayed dry enough for our visit to Monkey Mia to see the wild dolphins come up to the beach for their daily hand feeding session. We were lucky enough to see a 2 week old calf and I was especially lucky as I got to feed one of the dolphins!

Breakfast followed the excitment of the dolphins, after which we investigated the natural attractions of the area including Shell Beach. We were unlucky with the fishing apart from me catching a puffer fish and after all these months in Australia I plucked up the courage to hold the thing! Though I couldn't bring myself to stand on it like the guy next to us (for those concerned puffer fish are water vermin), they do make a great sound though when popping!

Then our final leg of our journey to Perth including stopping for a night at Jurien Bay and checking out the Pinacles rock formation at Nambung National Park. Which were really strange many looking like huge bony fingers exposed through the sand dunes.

Well time for me to look for work!
Sha x