Apr 22 – Happy birthday Nickie!!! 🙂
Well, I’m still in Perth and feeling kind of ‘ho hum’ with caravan life. Probably this has to do with the 3 income tax returns I’ve been juggling.
Taking stock, it’s 5 months since I moved into my home on wheels last November on the Gold Coast. Leaving out my travels in Tasmania and side trips here and there along the way, I’ve covered about 5,000k – Gold Coast to Melbourne to Adelaide to Perth – still about 9,000k to go – Perth to Broome to Darwin to Alice Springs to Townsville to the Gold Coast.
My plan is on track – I planned to be heading north from Perth by the end of April, before the autumn weather begins to cool the south and the cyclone season should be finished in the north – well, I’ll get on the road north soon.
Too many words and not enough pictures. I’ll get right on that in a day or so when I’ve put the tax bureaucrats to rest.
Perth is the last big city on my radar and I won’t miss them, big cities that is.
Apr 27 – still in Perth with the tax returns – waiting for copies of receipts and I’ve decided to visit a tax accountant to help me through my 1st Aussie returns on Monday. So, with a little luck I’ll get on the road north in a week or so.
I took the ferry to Rottnest island yesterday, a 45 minute ride on a high-speed launch. The name Rottnest is a derivation of the Dutch for “rat’s nest”. They named it in the mid 1600’s when they came out to New Holland (Australia) and found all these little guys nesting on the island.
It’s a Quokka not a rat, a marsupial – carries its babies in a pouch like a kangaroo, very friendly. Don’t ask me where “Quokka” comes from. It’s pronounced like an Aussie says “cracker”, without “r” sounds – “pass the quokkas mate”.
Great day on Rottnest, lots of walking, picnic on the beach (I’ve spared you the photos), sunshine, hop on/hop off bus that circles the island … Waiting for the ferry to return to the mainland, I read a sign that talked about the “lucrative” salt business that was carried on in the 1800’s from several salt lakes on the island – free labour supplied courtesy of the Aborigine prisoners! It didn’t explain why they had been taken prisoner, beyond their value as labour that is. Today, apparently 50% of the prison population is aboriginal, when they represent only 2% of the country’s population overall (source Radio National Australia)!
My camp is a short distance from “Sunset Coast”, well named because there’s a different one here 365 days a year! A lot of water between here and South Africa, straight out there!
Apr 30 – taxes finished!! The accountant turned it all into a breeze – should have gone to one weeks ago. Laundry and stuff tomorrow, then on the road north Thursday morning – just need to decide where? Quo Vadis? Here are a few pics of Perth and Fremantle. As a 39-year-old, I was able to buy an all day pass for $4.40.
Fremantle Market open Fri-Sun, full of fun and good things – fruit & veges, meat, fish, coffee, cakes, food of all sorts, people, stuff …
On ANZAC Day the Aussie navy was in town and this pub was littered with sailors in whites, looking for …. missed an opportunity for a pic.
A lot of neat old buildings – you’ll notice a lot of them either are or were pubs!
Opened in 1831, it’s the oldest public building in WA. It was a jail with only 8 cells, each cell housing 2 prisoners. Built on a high promontory overlooking the sea with a metres deep (to below sea level) well dug in the very centre – quite a building for only 16? The tour guide I spoke with had a funny accent – he was from Vancouver.
Everyone told me I had to visit the Freo Prison and so I did. I believe it closed in 1991 (new one opened) and at that time it didn’t have running water in the cells. The tour guide told us that the prisoners weren’t prisoners, they were convict workers??? Yes, convicts were sent here too under the English ‘convict regime’ and then at some point it was used for locals. ~350,000 forlorn souls were ‘processed’ through these gates. It’s a world heritage site. No more prison tours.
I did most of my sight-seeing in Fremantle. Perth looked like it had a wonderful Vietnamese section, drove through it one day and meant to go back, but it didn’t happen.
Let’s pack up and get on the road north to …