The flight from Melbourne to Perth wasn’t as long as I thought it would be, pity though that the aircraft was an older Qantas model that creaked a fair bit and didn’t have any wiz-bang back of the seat entertainment. At three and a half hours it wasn’t too bad and by the time we’d been served food and drink there wasn’t a lot of idle waiting. Arriving at Perth we were fairly quickly picking up our baggage and then heading out to find our pickup. We were staying for a few days with Michelle and Mike. We last saw Michelle in Peru, she was a passenger on the first leg of our South America travels from Quito to Lima and Keryn spent a few days with Michelle checking out the sights in and around Cuzco while I walked the Inca Trail. We took our bags outside to the pickup area and soon enough found Michelle and Mike waiting in their car. It was good to see Michelle again and to meet Mike for the first time and we had a good talk as we drove from the airport to their home in the suburb of Balcatta. We were shown around, given a room and settled in before chatting some more about our plans for the coming days. We were soon enough off to bed, getting used to the time zone change and feeling a little tired.

Michelle and Keryn chatting in Peru (Specifically Huanchaco).

The next morning we were up after our hosts had left for work. We decided to have a look at the city and had figured out the night before which bus and train we needed to to catch to get into town. The trip was fairly simple, though we confused ourselves with our ticket purchase at the automated machine at the train station and ended up with a concession pass we didn’t qualify for. The staff member who finally picked up on the mistake helped us get the correct ticket and didn’t fine us so that was good (though Keryn grumbled about the extra cost ;).

Before doing the tourist thing we first travelled out to find the depot where we would be picking up our hire car in a few days time. We would be driving 1200kms from Perth north to Exmouth over 12 days and had booked a 4wd camper with Wicked. The depot was in Burswood and we found it easily enough (even if I guessed the direction when we left the trains station). The depot wasn’t exactly confidence inspiring, everything looking a little hap-hazard and messy in the office and the staff were friendly but distracted. We paid our outstanding money including a $3000 AUS bond (which, as of writing this two weeks since dropping off the vehicle still hasn’t been refunded). That done we grabbed a few brochures and headed back to the train station.

In the city we wandered a little aimlessly, visited a tourist information centre and got some lunch before starting a walk Keryn had found in the Australia guidebook. The walk took us through the shopping district, past the Fire Safety Education Centre and Museum which we had a look around, on to the Royal Perth Hospital and neighbouring St Mary’s Cathedral and then down towards the Swan River where we had a look at Government House and the Supreme Court Gardens. There were lots of birds in the gardens and I took a few photos when not having a drink of water and taking a rest from the warmth. From the gardens we continued across the road to the Barrack St Jetty and the iconic Bell Tower. Keryn was starting to feel a little tired and off colour as we sat had a snack at one of the Jetty cafes so we decided to catch the free around town bus rather than continue walking. The bus arrived just as I was about to get up and take a photo of the jellyfish filled water of the Swan River, I think they must have all washed up to Exmouth where we saw hundreds more later in the trip.

MG 4416Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Outside the hospital.

MG 4418Photo by Brendon & Keryn

St Mary’s Cathedral.

MG 4425Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Colourful birds were common.

MG 4433Photo by Brendon & Keryn

The Bell Tower.

We had planned to continue walking in Kings Park and the Botanical Gardens but Keryn was feeling worse and we had to get off the bus a couple of times so Keryn could get some fresh air. We got off a final time not far from the central train station but unfortunately Keryn just got worse, only feeling a little better after throwing up. After that we found public toilets for Keryn to freshen up and we then headed back to home so Keryn could rest.

By the evening Keryn was feeling a little better. Mike went out and got some takeaways and we all drove to a beach-side park to eat. We missed sunset by 30 minutes but it was still warm and pleasant in the park. A local cat joined us, looking like it was after company more than food as it rolled around on the ground near our table. Dinner was good, as was the company. Tomorrow, more exploration.

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