Tuesday, 10 April 2012
Jellyfish, sharks and crocodiles
Here is a giant jar of jellyfish at the Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA). After snakes and John Terry, jellyfish are probably my least favourite thing in the world and I totally concur with Karl Pilkington's sentiment that you should "give them another three per cent and make them water." By contrast, as we observed their creepy propulsions, Rachel said we should get something similar at home as "it would be relaxing to look at." Never going to happen. In fact, I reckon that's what Meatloaf meant when he sang "I would do anything for love but I won't do that."
The trip to AQWA involved driving 70km up the WA coast from Rockingham, with John and Cilla, to Hillarys Harbour. It was well worth it as the aquarium was packed full of fascinating sea creatures, all found relatively close to Perth.
The weather continues to live up to my expectations of this beautiful state: nudging above 30C again as we tiptoe further into autumn.
Everything seems perfectly normal here, Rachel pictured on the moving underwater walkway which gave us great close-up views of fish and stingrays. Oh wait, something's looming overhead...
Three of these little fellas were laid on top of each other, happy as Larry. When the top croc woke up, he posed perfectly for our photos. Say cheese... snap.
At the heart of every good aquarium is a fine coffee shop and AQWA did not disappoint. John and Cilla showed more adventure than us with their drink choices, both opting for a spearmint milkshake.
Once we had bought our overpriced tat (sorry, tasteful fridge magnets) in the AQWA gift shop, John drove us further north to where Cilla's brother lives, in Mindarie. WA is an affluent state, largely thanks to its rich reserves of gold and minerals, and this was well illustrated by the mosaic of towering, gleaming properties we passed in the car. Each house along the seafront seemed to be competing with its neighbours for prominence. Millions of dollars have been spent here and the building sites on the perimeters of the metropolis tell of growth that isn't about to slow down. This was the view from Cilla's brother's house, overlooking the marina but facing east - away from the ocean - so as to stay cool when the afternoon sun glares down on Perth.
We encountered heavy rush-hour traffic on the way back. The stop-start freeway journey was the closest we've come to English motorway madness on ths side of the world.
I never thought the M25 would spark nostalgia.