Monday, 16 April 2012

From the city into the wilderness

This is the Perth skyline. It may not be as famous as Sydney or as imposing as Melbourne, but it really is a beautiful place and we've loved being tourists in the city so many Brits now call home.

Talking of tourism, we had to make a stop at the Perth Mint, famously robbed in 1982. We sat through a gold pour demonstration, listened to a decent history/tour of the place and looked into endless glass cases containing gold jewellery, bars and souvernirs. Everything on display was worth a huge amount, but I couldn't see the attraction in owning it. Selling gold you've discovered makes perfect sense, but splashing out on golden ornaments just seems like a bit of an ego trip. A pyramid of Ferrero Rocher would be better. And I can't even eat nuts.

From the Mint, we drove on to King's Park with John and Cilla. You get great views over the city and the Swan River from up there, and another tourist kindly snapped us on this viewing platform.

The War Memorial, which will be the centre of attention on ANZAC Day. If that means nothing to you - as it didn't to me before leaving England - please Google it.

Sunset at Shoalwater Bay. Say no more.

I have been told that this blog revolves around sport, food and friends. That triad accounts for much of my life, so I'll take it as a compliment. The cookie and iced mocha you see here were purchased from Dome - Rachel's new favourite coffee shop - in Bunbury. From our holiday base at John and Cilla's, we have embarked on a mini road-trip to stay with Harold Luxton, John's younger brother. After the Bunbury stop, we refuelled the car and ourselves in Manjimup before completing the drive to Walpole, in Australia's south-western corner.

We took no pictures of the journey, so I'll have to paint one with words. Thousands of slender trees towered above us on either side, for kilometre after kilometre. The road was a corridor carved out of the thick bushland, a slither of asphalt laid on the sandy forest floor. A black carpet bordered wth orange. We climbed and fell, twisted and turned, sped through the wilderness. Trucks laden with logs flashed past. Like Mole emerging from the Wild Wood in Wind In The Willows, we eventually burst out at the far end. We had arrived in Walpole, an oasis in this woodland desert.

Harold is a keen walker and we joined him for a stroll around the bush before tea. We saw no snakes ("there are loads around here, but more people have been killed by lightning") but did come across a few of these giant trees, burnt inside but still going strong.

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