Australia - Back to Bunbury

Trip Start Dec 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, April 6, 2006

Day 1

With Verdi's new contact lenses due to take about a week to arrive back in Perth we had time to kill. We had a think about where we would like to kill that time and we both decided that Bunbury was one place, not too far from Perth, that we had really liked during our tour of the South West. That's where we would spend our days whiling away the time until the lenses were ready.

We began with a lazy morning in Freemantle before getting on the road to drive the 2 hours south to Bunbury. On arriving we checked into the campsite which was opposite the Dolphin Discovery Centre and proceeded to carry out a few household chores i.e laundry and food shopping.

Relaxing back at the campsite we prepared a BBQ for dinner before settling down with our books and then bed.

Day 2

Taking advantage of our prolonged stay in one place we got up late in the morning and then headed over to the Dolphin Discovery Centre. Despite the fact that the dolphins normally make an appearance early in the morning, only one dolphin had swam past so far that day. Settling down on the sand for a sunbake session (with our bottomless cups of teas and coffee) we had resigned ourselves to not seeing any dolphins that day.

Suddenly a number of dolphins were spied far out to the left side of the cove. As people began to gather along the beach to see if they would venture closer we could see that there were about 5 dolphins in the pod that were cautiously entering the cove and towards the excited onlookers. The dolphins swam along the beach, occasionally jumping out of the water with one in particular after some attention, doing back flips and barrel-rolls for the stunned audience. They didn't swim into the interaction zone but one did swim very close to us as we were separate from the rest of the group - must be our placid, 'non-threatening' nature that attracted them to us.

Once the dolphins had had enough of us (no chance of it being the other way around) we slouched back onto the beach and continued our sun-baking, reading and tea-drinking before returning to the caravan park to cool off in the pool and play a little basketball (if you can call missing 9 out of 10 shots playing!). After showering we took advantage of the campsite BBQ and having had our fill settled down for the night.

Day 3

Getting up late again we did some 'household chores' and then wandered into town for a mooch around. After lunch and a brief spell on the internet we spent the rest of the day at the campsite, trying to stay out of the sun as much as possible having had a bit too much of it the previous day.

The evening was spent reading and playing cards and generally relaxing in the comfort of Gizmos 'lounge' area.

Day 4

The weather turned a bit cloudy and chilly so that ruled out a lengthy spell on the beach or by the pool. We went back into town to try and swap a few books at the book exchange store and, having spent well over an hour deciding what books we wanted, discovered that the store owner was only prepared to give us less than $1 for each book, despite some of them being new releases. We left the store and the books we wanted right there.

The day passed slowly as there wasn't much to do when the weather was lousy and the shops would only call on us to spend money.

The only other 'highlight' of the day was that Andrew developed a toothache. It didn't seem bad at first but worsened throughout the evening and by the night was excruciating. Painkillers and clove oil didn't help much and swilling his mouth with water was the only thing that seemed to dull the pain for more than 5 seconds. A sleepless night lay ahead.

Day 5

The toothache continued into the morning and didn't seem to be letting up. This called for a dentist. Now, for some reason, Bunbury has an unusually large concentration of dentists for a fairly small town - over 20 in fact. So, first thing in the morning we phoned around all of them and by some sick twist of irony, couldn't get an emergency appointment for another few days! Eventually we found a dentist in Donnybrook, a 30 minute drive away, that could fit Andrew in that day.

Now comes the shocking bit.

Having had the appointment with the dentist, and 2 fillings to sort out the agonising toothache, Andrew was presented with the news that he needed a few more things doing which could present problems at any point in the near future. In fact, he needed another 11 fillings and all four of his wisdom teeth out!!! Despite having been to the dentist just before leaving the UK (and having 4 fillings) it seemed that the dentist must have 'missed a few things'.

Shell-shocked by the news and the impending $2500 (1000 GBP) dental bill we returned to Bunbury to discuss what we should do. Needless to say we were a bit skeptical of the huge amount of work required so we called Andrews dentist back in the UK to check what had been done and also phoned around for some additional quotes. In the end it was decided that we would go back to the dentist the following day and ask for a run through of the work and some evidence of why the work needed doing - before committing to the whole thing.

We spent the night trying to relax and not think about the possible traumas that lay ahead.

Day 6 - 9

The following few days aren't really going to feature much of interest - unless you are a dentist.....or a masochist (some might argue the two are interchangeable!). Basically, Andrew managed to get all the work done that was needed, over the space of the four days. A timescale that the dentist was amazed at - he had never done that amount of treatment to anyone in such a short space of time. 'Before' pictures of Andrew and his lovely teeth are here to be viewed (PICS).

Day 6 involved 2 fillings during a 1 hour appointment at 8:30am - the pain of getting up so early was comparable to the dental work! We also got some x-rays done of Andrews jaw to allow the dentist to see the shape of his wisdom teeth in preparation for the extraction. The afternoon saw us trying to take our mind off teeth with a visit to the cinema to watch 'Inside man' and 'Ice Age 2'.

Day 7 involved 4 fillings from 10:30 till 11:30am. We then spent the afternoon on the unfortunately dolphin -free beach.

Day 8 was the 'big one'. (Skip straight to the following paragraph if you are a bit squeamish!) 5 fillings in an hour and then a short break before the 'main event' as the Scottish dentist called it. After five anesthetic injections containing adrenaline, which sent Andrews heart pumping like crazy, the teeth were extracted. The top two came out pretty easily with a twist and a pull. The bottom two were more of a problem but were apparently 'text-book' extractions. They both needed the gums to be cut open and then stitched back together and one tooth needed to be cut into 3 sections in order to come out. There wasn't really any pain at the time, the noise of the teeth cracking out of the jaw the worst bit.

We had booked into a hotel for the night after the 'big one' and having driven straight there from the dentist we crashed out in the room for the rest of the day - the next day as well in fact. Soft foods and a 'Frasier' marathon on TV were the only things that kept Andrew awake. Super strong painkillers the only thing that kept Andrew asleep. The after effect of the surgery is another 'only look if you have a strong stomach' moment and if you are really brave you can see the 3 'still-intact' teeth! (PICS).

Verdi was a saint throughout the entire process; doing all the driving after each dental appointment, going out soft-food shopping and generally looking after Andrew in his hours of need. How did Andrew repay her? By almost making her pass out when he removed the cotton gauze that was inserted to stem the bleeding!

Day 10

Verdi's contact lenses were ready to be picked up so we needed to return to Perth. Even in the passenger seat the journey was an unpleasant one for Andrew, especially as he hadn't been out of bed much in the last two days. He was glad when they finally arrived in Perth and fell asleep in the van while Verdi retrieved her new lenses.

The pain and discomfort was still too much for Andrew to consider starting the traveling northwards so we checked into the Perth Ambassador Hotel in the centre of Perth for the night and continued the recuperative process of watching TV and lying in bed.
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