Australia: Extracting the Fleece

Trip Start May 19, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ah, Australia. Land of sand, sea, surf and sun.  Well, unless you arrive in Perth in August.

I couldn't even explain the root of my delusion to you.  For some reason I believed that Winter in Australia would require me to don no more than an extra cardigan, but the land down under was to prove me emphatically wrong when I stepped off the plane and into an arctic gale.  For the first time I was jealous of the English summer.

Still, things were looking up.  Carl (the chap I met in Laos) had been in touch and was picking me up from the airport so I could stay at his house for a few days.  Not only that, but he’d bought copious supplies of red wine and steak, the two staples of my diet that I’d been craving for the past three months.  At last, a man that understood the way to my heart.

I spent three days at Carl’s house in the suburbs of Perth.  Unfortunately on the first day he had to go to work, which left me in surburban hell.  I eventually decided to bravely wander into the unknown and go to the shops for supplies, but after ten minutes walking outside I ended up at the mercy of the weather Gods when the heavens opened.  Dressed in my entirely inappropriate Asian garb, I ended up crouched under a tree at the side of the road before giving up and heading home utterly drenched and cursing the day someone gave me advice to head to Western Australia first.

Eventually managing to extract ourselves from the house, Carl and I drove to Lancelin, a beachside resort home to mammoth sand dunes which we tumbled over in his 4x4.  I was even allowed to take the wheel but I think Carl may have regretted it when we ended up perched on a precipice and having to roll the beast back to safety before getting stuck in the sand.

My mother sent me an email before I left for Australia that simply read "Chloe, just remember that all men are arseholes, to one degree or another."   Unfortunately after a few days with Carl I realised that even at the age of 29 I should listen to my mother. 

Hey ho.  So, I found myself in the centre of Perth at a backpackers that was pretty much empty bar some monosyllabic Germans and resolving to get the hell out of there.

Next stop was Fremantle, a village a few stops from Perth on the train which held a much touted Sunday market.  It’s a pretty enough place, a bit like a Kent village, but the market was more like a bric a brac store so I decided the best thing I could do with my time was visit the Lithuanian fortune teller, who told me that I was incredibly fertile at the moment.  Holy shit, I needed a beer.

Leaving the market I stumbled upon a backpackers and looked for car shares up North, only to meet a dishevelled girl outside drinking a beer at midday.  Oh dear, Chloe met Abi, and from there, the story will only write itself.

Before that chapter, though, it was time to head out of the city and further into the cold to explore the far South West.
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