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Reisverslag Next Day
9 december 2016
On 1 December we arrived in Fremantle.
On our way we drove through Busselton, a big seaside town on Geographe Bay. The weather was the usual …………… just glorious. We stopped for coffee and cake at a café on the foreshore. It was 10.30, so I was desperate for my caffeine fix and what a place to enjoy your cup of coffee. The café was near the jetty, which is about 1.4 Km long and used to cater for big freight ships in the olden days and had a railway track on it. The amenities on the foreshore were again amazing, barbeques everywhere, play equipment, toilets, gym equipment, bench seats, restaurants and cafes.
Unfortunately we had to travel on. Any of the places along the way would warrant a stop and few days stay. But our next accommodation was in Fremantle, another Airbnb.
It was easy to find, on the corner of a major road and a side street, luckily our “studio” was on the side street. Here we found accommodation that was generously described as a studio, meaning a bed, an en-suit and a bit of a kitchenette. Well we immediately decided that we would only prepare our breakfast and have our other meals in restaurants and cafes. The kitchenette did not have a sink or a cooktop, it only had a kettle, toaster and a weird electric appliance with 2 hot plates and the kettle and toaster were placed on the hot plate. The unit was really a slapdash affair, everything was done by a “handyman” and one who did not know how to start and finish things. The backyard was one pool, a large pool fence and there was a wooden shack, I suppose that was the sauna. Here and there were spindly banana trees, growing out of I don’t know what. So someone had tried to make a tropical resort style setting behind a beautiful Federation timber home. Totally incongruous.
The owners were a family of older man, younger wife, 2 toddlers, 2 American Pitbull terriers living indoors and a ginger cat living outside. Other guests were staying inside the house. This was an Airbnb on bad steroids. But it did not faze us, as we are very relaxed and retiredddddddddddd!
I tell Jan almost every other day, “it is Monday (or Tuesday) and we are retireddddddd”.
Fremantle is a lovely old suburb, a harbour town. It has many stately, old buildings, all build with limestone and beautifully rendered and decorated. It must have been a well to do town in its heyday.
All these buildings are in close proximity and quite a few blocks are owned by the Notre Dame University. Café’s, pubs and restaurants are everywhere, one strip of South Terrace is called “cappuccino strip”. It is an area with a great buzz. And then there is the harbour, with big freight ships, container cranes, sheds, blue water, sea air, yacht harbour with many restaurants and the “Little Creature” brewery on the edge and a colourful throng of people.
The light in Fremantle due to the clear blue skies and the lime stone buildings has an almost blinding effect at midday and our visit to the old prison presented us with such volume and intensity of light, similar I imagine to light in Greece. The old prison is one of a few building in Australia listed on the UNESCO world heritage list.
At a local hotel we enjoyed the economies of happy hour, a large glass of beer and a lime and soda at discount prices. I was amazed as I did not realize that it was happy hour and enjoyed the amber twice as much.
A man joined us at our table. I put down my book I was reading and said hello and started to listen. He had a lovely Lancashire accent and displayed it non-stop. He had an elasticity in his face like the flexibility of a belly dancer moving the belly in rolls and curls without moving upper or lower body. He moved his mouth constantly without moving the rest of the face and also without volume change. In a soft voice he told us his whole life’s story or at least a large chunk of it. I could only understand some of it, but we had a nice chin wag.
Close to dinner time we walked further and stood still at some stage to orient ourselves and a grandmother with 2 small kids pulling on her arms, blew by and asked us if we were lost. I responded that we were not really, as we did not know where we were going, but we needed to find a restaurant. In flight she gave us directions and told us to go to Capri, a good Italian restaurant, which served free soup and bread with the meals. Thanks we yelled and following her direction we found a little honest Italian restaurant, where Nonna was still running the show in a big old kitchen. There was no alfresco dining, no wine list (BYO only) and meals were plain and simple. The joint was full and we filled our stomachs.
Fremantle we loved it.
Just finished my book, Tim Winton’s “Dirt Music”. A fantastic book, by a good writer and finishing it is almost a sad moment, as you have to leave the people you got to know and stop learning from the characters and no longer can enjoy the beautiful wording and phrasing of some significant human psychology and emotions.
Bought a book in Fremantle called: “A touch of Dutch”, a book about Dutch connections to WA starting from Dirk Hartog’s landing in the 17th century and going to current relationships. A major part involves the massive immigration in the 50ties, so I am keen to read it.
Saturday 3 December.
We drove from Fremantle to Hyden, to see Wave Rock, a very remarkable geological structure.
It felt really great to leave all the Bunnings, McDonalds, KFC’s, etc. of the suburbs behind. Oh, those shopping centres are so depressing and along the arterial roads out of the city they seem never ending. WA has the advantage that when you leave the suburbs of Perth you enter the real country again, there are no large provincial towns east of Perth and thank God, soon we were back in the “outback”.
Some 150 Km east of Perth, along Highway 40, in the middle of wheat farming country we encountered a curious sight. It was an old man in high viz clothes pulling a hand cart, which contained all his gear. He was traveling by foot. Maybe he had been walking from Sydney to Perth we don’t know, but I must say I had an urge of wanting to stop the car and walk with him for a while and quiz him about his motivations, his mental torments, his heroic ambitions, his sweet consolations and his bitter disappointments. However the air-conditioned, smooth and fast travel and comfortable seat of the car got the better of me and I did not even lift my right foot from the accelerator. What a lousy, lazy right foot!
Close to the tiny town of Corrigin we came past a dog cemetery. Yes, you read correctly, a dog cemetery! There would have been maybe 200 graves, many marked with crosses and all had engravings with noble and loving words and there was 1 open grave, ready for the next casualty.
A big statue of Rusty protected the cemetery.
Close to Hyden the wheat fields started to be interspersed by dry bush and dried up salt lakes, some of those were so white and bright that they were blinding to the eye.
We camped on Saturday and Sunday night at Wave Rock Caravan Park.
The caravan park had everything except grassy spots to put a tent. The whole park was dirt and dust, however they were clever and had put patches of fake grass where the tent had to be. That was great, because it made it a soft patch underneath the tent. The park had barbeques, a useless camp kitchen, which most people used to charge their electronic gadgets, a large common area with a TV and 6 sets of garden furniture, shower and toilet blocks, kiosk and was importantly only 50 meters from Wave Rock. This rock is a phenomenally shaped rock, looking exactly like a huge frozen wave. For the geological reason of this shape I refer to Google, saves me a few words and also because I don’t know. It was very impressive, but we did not know that there are other similar rocks like at McDermit Rock (which we saw 2 days later), a bit lower, but a lot longer.
Most visitors pull in at the car park, run up to the rock, have a look, take a few (or heaps) photos and disappear.
We stayed 2 nights, camping!
The tent and our camp looked a picture and I took a photo of it to prove it.
I love camping!
It is a 4 person tent and we have a very comfortable blow up mattress and a few years ago we bought good sleeping bags, they would be suitable for minus 10 degrees Celsius, but we are using them in a sub-tropical climate (???). Hence I felt way to hot during the night. The bottom of the bag felt like a thermo-nuclear reactor and I was feeding that furnace with methane gas, mind you I delivered it with perfect notes, loud and forceful, a B flat. Well maybe not entirely perfect as at the tail end it became a bit fussy, but then as you get older you lose a bit of control.
It was a difficult situation as I needed to cool my core body temperature down, so first I put a foot out of the bag. No that was not enough. Then I put a whole leg out, that was too much, it got to cold. I put it all in the bag again and put my arms out, no that was also too cold. Then I had a cunning idea, I put my bum out and because I was wearing shorts, the cover formed a method of delayed cooling and my gas emissions were now delivered in a more gentle way, air on a G string, ahh Bach would have been proud of me. Eventually I must have fallen asleep at 3.00 am and woken gently by wailing crows at 4.30 as it gets light in WA. Good morning!!!!
At 5.00 am one could hear shuffling and talking people and the sweet sound of slamming car doors. People were ready to hit the road. Two mornings in a row I was a mess.
During the night I had to get up a few times to go to the loo. I am a person who is very considering of others, so I try to be as quiet as possible. I tried to levitate to the toilet. To achieve that I walk with a bit of a stoop, trying to absorb shock, use a high stepping gait, carefully lowering my feet and trying not to touch the ground, but could not entirely avoid the grinding of dirt between heel and toe and the flip flop of sandals. By the time I got to the loo, a good while later, I opened the door with wild abandon. It was the door to the house of horrors. The creaking could be heard miles away and on top of that I lost control and the door slammed shut. Very considerate. The next day somebody left the door open with a brick!
I love camping!
I am 4-5 days behind in writing so my location is ahead of my story. You would have figured that by now. We are on our way home
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9 december 2016 06:18 | Door: Michelle
Great to read you are having a wonderful time. I am loving your stories Peter.