We caught an early evening flight from Phuket to Perth, via Kuala Lumpur – with the time difference it meant we were travelling through the night, arriving in Perth in the early hours. We therefore treated ourselves to flatbeds on the 2nd leg of the journey (special offer!!) which made sleeping so much more comfortable – just had to battle with ‘do I watch films or do I sleep!?’ All went swimmingly well and we picked up our rental car at Perth airport (slight blip in that we had booked it from the following morning – but hey, they had one to rent so all was well. We have our own wheels again!!! Steve happy to be back motoring and I practised my best navigating skills as we made our way north from Perth to Mullaloo.
Found our airbnb, beautiful neighbourhood – all the houses (and gardens) are immaculate, large, well-designed and such individual styles – in fact most of the Perth area seems to be that way (so perfect it’s practically Stepford Wives)! We have a fabulous self-contained apartment (Lesley and Shane, our airbnb hosts have the amazing house attached) and a pool for our sole use. We have a double garage (with remote control shutter) which we can actually fit the car into (that just doesn’t happen back home)!! And lots of extras – bikes, surf boards, table tennis, darts, beach chairs, snorkelling equipment, cool boxes, fishing gear …. you name it, it’s here for us to use!! So we are in fact making the most of using these great facilities and at the same time taking the opportunity to cut down on our spending for the fortnight – claw a bit back as they say. We’re eating in each day (really loving the chance to cook again) eating (and drinking) healthily, not spending out on tours but taking ourselves off in the car instead, exploring this beautiful coastline of Western Australia. Most mornings we’re up at 7.00am and out running/walking for an hour, then straight to our magnificent local beach for swimming and bodyboarding, returning home for a breakfast of fresh fruit about 10.00am. It’s a good life – Perth is the place to be.
We’re on the Indian Ocean here and the sea has got to be the clearest sea I have ever seen, just perfect. The waves are something else though – so strong when the wind is up. I had a bit of a tussle with the bodyboard last week … and the bodyboard won! … managed to bruise my ribs on my first attempt at bodyboarding (and I’m a well practised Cornwall bodyboarder). Sticking to swimming from now on and letting Steve carry on with the manly surfing stuff! Mornings are mostly calm in Mullaloo, permanently sunny, and a wind gets up in the afternoon – it’s called the Freemantle Doctor – and boy does it get up!! Hold onto your hat stuff.
We took a drive down to Freemantle on Monday – such an interesting town. It is where free settlers arrived in 1829 and it became established as a British colony. British convicts arrived in 1850 to boost the colony’s labour force – their first job being the building of the prison (how soul-destroying that must have been). We visited the original gaol (the Roundhouse) and Freemantle Prison, learning so much about the history. Gorgeous town of colonial style buildings too – interesting shops, cafes and bars. Hoping to go back there for an evening.
Of course on Saturday we were up early to find the local Park Run – it starts at 8.00am here as opposed to 9.00am at home (I wonder why)!!! I only meant to go to spectate but got talked into giving it a go – we both enjoyed it and got talking to many lovely people, including one lady, Ali, who had grown up in Milton Keynes. It was already pretty hot by 8.00am but there were areas of shade along the path – a little daunted as part of the pre-run talk said to look out for snakes and call out to people in front and behind if you saw one on the path!! Someone had apparently seen a kangaroo just before the run! Planning to go back again this Saturday – gulp!!
All’s being going along so well … and then there’s the cricket!!! Of course, tuned into the Adelaide test match, a few days of being disheartened and then there was hope … and then it was all over!! Hopefully the boys will pick it all up again in Perth – where Steve and I will be next Thursday – hoping to meet up with Andy and Fran too. Fingers crossed they win this one, otherwise our days at Melbourne and Sydney test matches might be a little fraught.
So we’re perfectly relaxed and enjoying this lifestyle … but of course nothing’s perfect – all I can say is ‘flies’ – where do they all come from in such a clean place!? That plus the constant ‘beware of snakes’ signage! But don’t worry, we’ll battle on for another week! 😉