G’ day Australia!
It took me one full day to reach Perth, my next destination. I took a first flight from Yangon to Singapore, where I had a long stopover to do some shopping, night shots and a Singapore Sling (thanks Marks for the tip!) with style at mythical Raffles Hotel 😉
I arrived to Perth in a very bad shape, with a 6 hours delay due to severe storms in WA. Fortunately Anna was waiting for me at the airport so everything was good 🙂
Perth, the most isolated city in the world, is the capital of Western Australia State and home of Anna and her family. Anna and I have been friends for 5 years so my first trip to Australia could only start from Perth where I will spend four full days at Aste family’s home.
On Friday Anna, baby A. and me visited Fremantle. “Freo” was the first area settled by the Swan River colonists in 1829 who left a beautiful colonial heritage mainly from the XIXth century (Victorian and Edwarian architecture).
After a super breakfast at Benny’s, where baby A. could enjoy her favourite carrot cake, we visited some historic buildings and I had a quick look at the Shipwreck Galleries while Anna and baby A. were in the playground. WA coastline is not only dangerous for its sharks, many ships wrecked along this coast in the past and this museum shows today an interesting collection of artifacts from these wrecks. The museum’s highlight is Batavia’s hull, a Dutch merchant ship wrecked in 1629, but my favourite “piece” was the oldest known Australian skeleton of a European, how many museums in the world can brag about having a XVIIth century European man in their collections?
Of course my stay in Perth was not only about sightseeing: I enjoyed catching up with Anna, chats about amazing Peru with Rafa and playing with baby A. Baby A, once recovered from her stomach bug, treated me as a queen preparing me cups of tea and delicious mushrooms in her little kitchen. She also wanted to help with this blog . . . . isn’t she cute? 🙂
On Saturday Anna showed me Perth. We spent most of the time between Kings Park & Botanic Garden. The views over Swan River from the park are very beautiful and the Botanic Gardens has an interesting collection of indigenous plants which was complemented by Anna’s explanations.
After a short stop at Cottlestor Beach for “Australian surfers watching” we picked up Rafa and baby A for dinner in one of the many Italian restaurants in Freo, where I could also enjoy my first glass of local wine. Western Australia produces excellent wines and tasting of one of its cabernets was a must for me!
Next day Anna and I left the city direction to Namburg National Park. This was my first drive to the famous “Australian Outback” and I enjoyed every second of it plus Anna told me very interesting things about Australia, no doubt she loves her country! As it had been raining quite a lot during the previous days, the landscape was unusually green for the season, so beautiful! Unfortunately, the first kangaroo that I could see was a carcass abandoned by the wayside, Anna told me accidents with kangaroos are very common because cars driving at +100km /hour cannot do much when a kangaroo jumps into the road by surprise. I was sooo sad . . .
Namburg National Park is home of the Pinnacles Desert, where I could discover a natural phenomena still difficult to explain by scientists: thousands of calcareous rocks (maybe a petrified forest?) form here a kind of ocean of menhirs, high up to 4 m. This is a special landscape, very dry despite we are not far from the ocean. Actually from one of the viewpoints I could see at the same time the desert, the ocean, some green fields and kilometres of pure white sand, so weird!
Lunch stop was at Cervantes, a fishing town near the National Park named after the ship “Cervantes” which went down here in 1840s. I liked the Cervantes’ outback atmosphere. Even if Anna told me this is not the “real” outback, I found this town much more genuine than other outback places like Alice Springs. In Cervantes I could also taste my fish Aussie Fish and Chips, so good! 🙂
On the way back to Perth we did two short stops: Lake Tetis, home of a bunch of stromatolites and Hangover Beach, a beautiful beach which was deserted that day.
At night, Rafa and Anna prepared a super Aussie BBQ in the courtyard. In summer time a barbie with some mates is a mandatory “cultural” experience in Australia and I was more than happy to enjoy my first Aussie BBQ with Rafa, Anna and baby A. My Australian trip couldn’t have a better start!
Monday was the farewells day. I was sad to leave Aste family but the Red Center was waiting for me. Most of foreign visitors visiting Australia for the first time focus only on the Red Centre and East Coast but WA has also many interesting things to see and, as Rafa said, Eastern Coast cannot beat Western Coast’s sunsets 😉
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