Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wandering, Wineries and Wave Rock

First things first - there is tragedy in my life. . . I may have to fly economy class on the way home from Australia - ugh!!!! I have just upgraded my ticket online and I am "waitlisted" for Executive First for the Sydney-Vancouver portion but confirmed Vancouver-Calgary. The one flight where I want to be comfortable! What is even more frustrating is that when I go online, it looks like First is pretty empty - so I don't know what the deal is?! I know, I know, of all of the tragedies in the world, this does not rank high! My trip home is going to be hell b/c I leave Perth at 12:15am on Wednesday, January 16 - arrive in Sydney at 6:30am and don't leave until 1:30pm. I then arrive in Vancouver at 8:30am on Wednesday, January 16 - so I am going to have some serious jet lag and will have been travelling for a long time! Plus, I have had a taste of the good life!!!! Moving on. . .

I ended up on a different flight to Perth from Cairns (some issues with Quantas) and didn't go through Ayers Rock like planned and didn't get in at 1:45pm like planned. . .more like 12:25am through Brisbane. Perth is such a lovely city - it reminds me a bit of Vancouver and a bit of Victoria.
I realize that I have been rather negligent on updating my blog over the past 3 days - I have hit total relaxation mode on my holiday where I am content to do a whole lot of nothing (including blogging!) On Thursday, I just bummed around by the pool and attempted to get some more colour on my lily white body through my Aussie 30 sunscreen. . .I am slowly cooking but don't expect a great tan from this chickie! B/w my sunscreen and my hat, this lily white body isn't toasting too well - oh well. . . better than then burning I guess! Carley also lives only 2 minutes from this great outlet mall so I also went shopping and guess what I found. . .shoes! I only bought 2 pair but there are a couple of more that I am considering and I might purchase before I leave. As I have mentioned before, things down here are expensive and everything is made in China, so the odds of fitting are small! That evening we went down to Cottesloe Beach and bought some fish and chips and sat on the beach (with 100s of others) and watched the sun go down ove the Indian Ocean - it was absolutely lovely. After that we went for a nice walk along the beach in the surf and had a great visit and catch-up. . . .Carley is the most wonderful host, putting up with my every suggestion and whim (you will understand in a bit!)

Friday we went to the market (fruit down here is AMAZING!) and then headed up the Swan River to visit some wineries. We had a most lovely lunch sitting under some vines outside at the Sandleford Winery. It was such a gorgeous day out and the vines provided us with some much needed shade. We then went to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory (like we needed more food) and watched them make some chocolates and of course, had to sample of few. We drove around the countryside stopping to taste wine at a couple of wineries. When we came back to Perth went to Kings Park which is this amazing park in the middle of Perth and went for a nice stroll around part of the park. I am going to go back on Monday and check out some more of the park as it is so beautiful and there are so many different parts to it. We then vegged out and watched the entire season of Summer Heights High which is this amazingly funny but totally politically incorrect Australian comedy. I have learned some new terms from it - fugly (I am sure you can figure that one out. . .someone is fugly) Povo (pronouced pawvo) another word for poor. If you can, see if you can find it on the web b/c it is so funny! Let's put it this way - it would give SNL a run for it's money and there is no way in hell they would play it on cable in Canada!

Yesterday we drove out to Wave Rock which I had read about in my Lonely Planet book and saw pictures of on the internet. . .now this is where Carley humoured me. It was a 4 hour drive out there but in the end we decided that it was worth it! Wave Rock is this granite rock that is 15m high and 110m long.
It is shaped like a wave by water eroding away part of the rock. There were some great walks around the area and I am sure they would have been lovely but the flies were brutal - not mosquitos. . . flies! We had packed a nice little picnic lunch and stopped just before the rock to eat it. The drive out to the rock was amazing as we went through some orchards, some farming areas and some outback type areas. Probably one of the highlights for me was seeing the sign where the Rabbit Proof Fence originally crossed the highway. For those of you who aren't familiar, the Rabbit Proof Fence was built in the early 1900s to keep the rabbits out but it also had a hugh impact on the Aborgines and there is a great movie out there called The Rabbit Proof Fence.

I am disappointed b/c I haven't seen any kangaroos yet - or at least ones that aren't roadkill. Carley's car doesn't have a 'Roo-bar' on it (basically - if you hit a roo with one, it will lessen the damage to your vehicle). The one thing that has surprised me about kangaroos, from the ones that I have seen dead on the road is how small they are. Really, most of them are the size of a large dog - not these 5'8 creatures that I have been envisioning and I guess they don't linger at the side of the road like deer do (like I was expecting). So I guess what I am trying to say is that my chances of a picture outside of a wildlife park or a zoo aren't that great!

Today we have another picnic planned down by the Swan River and Carley's friend David is going to take us windsurfing. . .should provide for some good laughs (and hopefully pictures) if nothing else!

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