Monday, August 31, 2009
Another big cycle today this time followed the Swan River until it joined the Canning River and did a big round loop around it before heading back to the city, a total of 43km.
Got my bike all kitted up with gadgets including a portable speaker attached to my handlebar bag that can be seen in this pic. Got some strange looks from some walkers, and even a dog game me a look as if to say what the f*** as I whizzed past to the sounds of Soul Asylum's lyrics “Shock Treatment for you”
The weather is still not improving much with a high of only 17 and more grey skys, tomorrow is the start of Spring so will surely bring warmer weather and the perfect blue sky’s Perth is usually known for.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Had another good cycle today, Cycled alongside the Swan River, but this time inland, stopped for my lunch in a nice park and made friends with a huge black Labrador called Chocolate he was desperately attempting to eat my Strawberries but only succeeded in getting a stalk!
Cycled onwards to a town called Guildford one of Western Australia’s oldest and most charming towns with some old and historic (for Australia) colonial buildings. Unfortunately the historic old pub, around 130 years old, that I remember having a nice pint at 3 years ago was no more, it had been gutted by fire last year. Carried on the cycle a further 6km to Midland and while Guildford was a nice town the same could not be said of Midland, I thought I was back in Liverpool cycling thorough the streets of Kensington with all the boarded up shops and houses! Took the train back to Perth and cooked myself a nice fresh Tasmanian Salmon fillet dinner back at the Lodge.
While it didn’t rain today the skies were very grey and of the few photos I took they were very poor quality so for my photo of the day have decided to upload one of me on my bike ride up the Indian Ocean on Wednesday instead, taken at Sorrento Quay with the Sun setting and many nice boats in the background.
Someone at the Lodge had some spare tickets for the International Rugby game between Australia and South Africa, I’m not a big fan of rugby but he was offering the tickets cheap and with the chance to goto a big match with a big rivalry I decided to go for it.
We got the train to the Subiaco Oval free of charge as TransPerth offer free public transport for ticket holders of all major sporting events in Perth – A brilliant idea as it encourages people to use public transport. On arrival at the stadium it was clear there was a huge number of South Africa supporters, inside there was no segregation of the supporters and there was good humoured banter between the 2 sets of supporters something that would not usually happen in Football ( Soccer)
The game began and I was impressed with just how fast the passing and movement was compared to watching it on TV, The South Africans made a lightning start and it wasn’t long before they scored a few tries right in front of us as the Aussies made several bad mistakes.
I Was pleasantly surprised to see “beer” for sale at only $6 a $3 saving on the average bar price, I was no longer so pleased when I started drinking it as I had paid $6 for glorified water! God knows how the Aussies manage to get drunk on the stuff!
Anyway the Aussies would be drowning their sorrows with something a little stronger as despite a late comeback were really well beaten with the scoreline of 32-25 not really reflecting the South Africans dominance.
Friday, August 28, 2009
After all of last nights drinking woke up rather late and weather was not great so didn’t do anything today except laze around and briefly go out for a bit of shopping so here’s another pic taken yesterday on my cruise in Mandurah. After leaving behind the millionaire’s playground we cruised near some wetlands full of bird life A huge pelican is about to lift off!
DAY 16 – WHEN I WIN THE LOTTERY - I’LL BUY A NICE CANALSIDE HOME AND YAUCHT AND NOT WORRY ABOUT FINDING $5 BEERS!
Took the train down to Mandurah, 74km South of Perth, Was a nice train journey down on TransPerth’s new railway line, the first 10 minuets out of Perth offered stunning views of the Swan and Canning rivers with the Perth hills in the background.
Mandurah is the fastest growing town in Australia and one of the wealthiest. A network of Canals makes part of the town like a little Venice down under! Over the past 10 years the canals banks have been developed with multi million dollar homes ranging from 1-14 Million Aussie dollars. Most have a parking space for the yacht(s)
It was a tough decision which photo to post as I photographed so many incredible mansions from one who’s owner wanted 10 bathrooms but was cut down to 8 by the council, due to water restrictions to one shaped like a ship, but I decided on this pic as shows an 8 million dollar mansion with a 4 million dollar yacht that has just arrived as the owners new toy!
At Christmas they have a Millionaires Christmas lights competition making it look more like Vegas down under take a look at this youtube video
We also cruised out of the canals into some wetlands and saw many species’ of birds and were lucky enough to briefly spot a dolphin, but he was too quick for my camera and I only succeeded in getting a pic of the water after he had disappeared.
After the cruise had some delicious fish and chips in a cafe next to the canalside then headed back to Perth, back in town that night had my first really big night out of the trip, had a few too many beers helped by the fact that it was Student and Backpacker night and selected beer was $5 a pint rather than the usual $9 Arrived back at the lodge somewhere in the region of 2:30am - a decent warm-up for my 30th B’day in 2 weeks time!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
On another fine sunny day, I cycled from Perth city to the Coast, I then followed the cycle paths north alongside the stunning coastline and after about 20km it was time to stop for a well-earned rest and watch the Sun setting into the Indian Ocean. Cycled a total of 44km today the most so far on my new bike.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
DAY 14 BARBECUE WINTER
Was a stunning winters day today with perfect blue sky's, I had a good bike ride up to and around some of the 1000acres that make up Kings Park which overlooks the city and the Swan river. Met up with some other poms from the Lodge who were planning a barbecue and was invited to join them.
We were promised a Barbecue Summer by the Met office in the UK but as usual apart from the odd few nice days that Promise was broken so was looking forward to my first bbq of the year, however it would have to wait for a while as they were taken over by large groups so we decided to head to South Perth instead.
I cycled back to the lodge to fetch some Kangaroo I had left over then made a quick stop at the bottlo for some wine and cycled round to South Perth by which time it was dark so would be a winter nights bbq!
They are free to use gas ones but we made 2 mistakes forgetting the bring any cooking oil or cleaning stuff, pretty soon the meat was sizzling like crazy including poor old Skippy and was sticking to the bbq, Once cooked a large plume of smoke emerged upwards from the bbq as we fighted with a spatula to attempt to clean them but only really succeeded in melting the spatula!
I can see the Aussies now shaking their heads at the sight of it and muttering, “Bloody Poms!”
Monday, August 24, 2009
The WACA stands for the Western Australia Cricket Association and it was where I witnessed England lose the Ashes on my last day in Perth in December 2006.so it was very fitting that I watched us re-gain the ashes on TV from just 1 mile away from the WACA so decided I had to go down to the WACA today wearing my England shirt!
I crawled my way out of bed just before lunchtime with a bit of a hangover again, Warning Aussie beer gives worse hangovers, you pay nearly twice as much for a beer but it seems to have twice the effect, perhaps its because its served so cold? I’d only had 2 pints and 3 and a half bottles, the last getting sprayed all over the place as I was opening it when we took the winning wicket!
It wasn’t until the sun was setting I finally got down there but what a perfect timing for a photo. Taken from a park next to the cricket ground it shows the WACA’s huge floodlights reflecting in the lake, I’m sure the Aussie cricket team have done many reflecting themselves today!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Took the train to Freemantle (Freo) managed to squeeze myself and my bike onto a train crowded with Fans going to watch the Freemantle Dockers “Foot?ball” game but played more with the hands than a foot! The Freo Dockers are competing for the wooden spoon in the AFL but the fans obviously felt that they had a much better chance of victory than their national cricket team did!
30mins later arrived at Freo, which is located right on the Indian Ocean and is port town that serves almost the entire of Western Australia. At weekends they have huge fantastic markets selling cheap goods from China and plenty of local fresh fruit and veg along with several Buskers who are allowed a 45 min slot. This photo captures a busker playing the didgeridoo with the fruit and veg stalls in the background, He appreciated his dollar fee for the pic!
I cycled back on the fantastic networks of cycle paths that follow
South of the Swan river all the way back into the city centre of Perth a total of 30km (about 18 miles) was a nice ride except for a couple of downpours of rain!
Meanwhile the Aussies were still praying for rain back home in England as we took 2 quick wickets in the Ashes cricket decider.
The convicts then started batting very well and started baiting us poms that they were going to win after all but after a brilliant bit of fielding by Freddie Flintoff the wickets started to fall and aussies stated to get bloody pissed off and one by one began to leave, I could not believe it as the pubs shut at 10pm so went back to where I was staying to watch the rest and finally around 1am we took the final wicket to win back the ashes, although it was rather an anticlimax as all the convicts had gone to bed.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
On the way back tried to find a pub to watch an hour or so of the Cricket but what do Australian pubs do when they’re losing at cricket? Answer pretend they don’t like cricket and are only a rugby nation by displaying 2 rugby games on their tv’s (They lost the rugby anyway). Right off to find the convict that bet me $20 last night that England wouldn’t make it to 100 in the 2nd innings, I bet he’s done a runner!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Weather was much better today and despite having a nasty cold bug, once I had realized I wasn't making pig noises decided the best thing was to get out on the bike and blow the cobwebs away! Was glad I did as while cycling around the stunning swan river was greeted with fantastic views and many superb photo opportunities including this nice sunset shot with Perth city and Canoeists on the swan.
Later that night me and a few other poms took a Stroll across the road to the pub to watch a bit of the ashes test, we were greeted by a live band playing Tom Petty’s song freefallin, it was fantastic timing as within the next few minuets the Australian Cricket team began to freefall themselves eventually losing 10 wickets for less than 90 runs! Was fantastic banter as us English (Poms) ripped the micky out of the convicts (Aussies) fingers crossed we should now win back the ashes which would be sweet revenge as I watched England lose the ashes the last time I was in Perth 3 years ago!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Believe it or not this is not in a zoo or wildlife park but kangaroos in their natural environment on a small island connected to by bridge, on the Swan river just 5 miles form downtown Perth, they are described as the tamest wild kangaroos in the world and after a few minuets photographing them I was amazed when one came hopping towards me stopped in front of me and put it’s paws up towards me letting me pat him!
John Glen the 1st American in to orbit the earth referred to Perth as the “city of lights” as he flown over it in 1962 as all the residents left on their lights to show him the city! – The name has stuck today and even though there are many brighter bigger skylines around the world, Perth has one of the nicest skylines at night. Today I bought myself a new bike and went for night ride along the bike paths by the Swan river with stunning views of the city. I expect many more stunning bikeride views over the coming few months and hopefully a shrinking waistline to go along with it!
British style weather again today with loads of rain except for a 2 hour clear sunny spell around lunchtime - The sun knows the correct time to come out here so the office workers can have an alfresco lunch – I spent most of the day test-riding bicycles when at one point test driving a boat would have been more suitable!
One of the first things I did on my first full day back in Australia was to go and say G’day to Skippy & Friends near the city center, these fantastic bronze sculptures have become one of the most photographed sights in Perth since they were installed in 1997 – Nice winters day sunny, bright blue sky’s and after a chilly start rose to around 20 degrees.
After a combined total of 8500 miles flying and for 17 hours, beneath one of our huge Boeing 777’s jet engine’s was my first view on this trip of Australia – It is pretty unmistakable with it’s stunning coastline giving way to red outback territory. It would still be another 750 miles and an hour and a half of flying before landing in Perth. There was barley a cloud in the sky for the entire flight until we got near Perth and we landed in cloud and rain, I had to convince myself the plane hadn’t turned round and flown hypersonically back to England as the weather was identical, but as soon as I was greeted at immigration with G’day mate how you doing? I knew I had arrived in Australia
The Petronas twin towers look their best all lit up at night, My past travels have taken me to see many of the worlds tallest skyscrapers in cities such as New York, Chicago, Hong Kong and Dubai, but I have to say these towers are without doubt the most stunning of them all! Taken from the 33rd floor cocktail lounge of the traders hotel – I even decided I had better ditch having a beer and try a cocktail – I wish I’d stuck with beer didn’t like the cocktail much but the view made up for it!!
Been to a reptile park, it had a fantastic collection of snakes in all shapes, sizes and colour was really enjoying photographing them - behind the safety of glass when suddenly one of the staff members tapped me on the shoulder "excuse me sir I take photo of you" and the next moment before I could reply he came charging towards me with an evil looking snake slithering all over the place! – No thanks I said as I very quickly slithered away myself!
Having left England behind for a while I begin my travels with a long 13 hour flight to Kuala Lumpur -2 hours into the flight the sun sets over Germany- Due to us flying eastbound it will rise again in just 4 hours