Hellos, goodbyes and a whole lot of fitness

Trip Start Apr 30, 2007
Trip End Nov 29, 2008

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Monday, May 19, 2008

Hello everyone!
Well, you'll all be pleased to know I am officially a gym bunny, apart from I don't bounce, I tend to walk more like John Wayne.  I go the gym 5 times a week straight from work, I do 4 classes a week (Monday - freestyle, Tuesday - Spin class, Wednesday - Body Pump, Thursday - Body Combat & Friday - Body Balance), eat really healthily, only drink herbal tea's and a sh!t load of water.. oh and take multi vitamins. 
I've swapped toasted sandwiches in the mornings for fruit, cooked meals in the evenings for tuna salads and lying in front of the TV to power walking to the gym and then torturing myself for a few hours.  Life is grand... but aches slightly.
I feel a million times better already though, I don't think I would of made it around Rottnest Island if I hadn't of visited the gym a few times before hand.
Rottnest Island was brilliant and absolutely stunning.  We were up and out the house by 7.45am and caught the 8am bus into Fremantle where we headed straight to Gloria Jeans for a coffee and some breakfast.  Once we had queued for half an hour for our ferry tickets, we jumped on and headed over to the Island. 
We hired bikes and helmets and after taking a few pictures we headed off on our adventure around the island.  The morning started out sunny but quite chilly but we quickly worked up a sweat cycling up and down the monstrous hills.  By early lunch time the sun was out in force and we figured wearing jeans and jumpers probably wasn't the best move.
The island is home to Quokka's, which are pint size Kangaroo's basically.  They are soo cute and just roam around munching on leaves and stuff.  We spotted a few just as we were setting out, so grabbed a few photos of them. 
Once we got half way around, we took a break for a bit and enjoyed the scenery.  Katie and Aimee decided to cycle through the centre of the island to see the lakes and meet the rest of us back at the beginning.  The rest of us carried on our further 5.5km ride around the island, stopping every so often for pictures or to get off our bikes and walk up the hills.  Poor Chloe ended up with the bike that wouldn't change gear and was constantly on a low gear so every time she was going down a hill she had to keep peddling in hope of making it up the next hill!  In total we cycled about 15km.. Chloe probably did double that through peddling so hard!  Bless her!!  She now has buns of steal though so can't complain.
We relaxed on a beach for just under an hour in the sun in our jeans.. not really typical sunbathing attire but we still managed to catch the sun slightly.  We listened to some music, ate all of Aimee's crackers (much to her disgust) and I wrote my name in shells.  After all that excitement it was back on the bikes and up and down a few more hills heading back to the harbour.
After we had cycled the whole island, we gladly handed back our bikes and headed into the small tourist shop to grab some momentums and then straight through to Dome for a well deserved lunch and a huge bowl of potato wedges! 
After being attacked my two peacocks and a whole gang of seagulls we decided to head to the beach to chill out for our last 40 minutes on the island.  The second after we turned our backs on the table, a million and one seagulls came from nowhere, swooped down and started attacking the leftovers.. the poor people sat on the tables around us just stared in horror that there table might be next.  Katie and Sharon ran back, scared the birds off and waited by the table for the waiter to clear it.. all the other customers looked petrified at the thought of leaving their table.
The ferry we got home was slightly different to the one we caught on the way over, we sat on the lower deck in a booth and relaxed properly for the first time of the day.  We were all absolutely shattered, we decided to stay on the ferry and get off in Perth rather than getting off where we were supposed to in Fremantle. 
The sun was setting just as we were coming into Perth, so we all headed up to the top deck and took some pictures of the city sky line.. it was freezing!!  Hence all the windswept photo's!  Plus we all had mad helmet hair going on.  We mooched about in the city for a bit and got some pictures and then got the free bus home.  By the time we got back, we were all completely shattered.  We sat in front of the TV for a while discussing what would be a respectable time to head to bed on a Saturday evening, I think in the end we were all tucked up sound asleep by 9pm.  Pretty respectable I think.
On Sunday we were all meant to head into Fremantle to go to the Sunday markets and do the prison tour, but mid week Aimee and Chloe decided that on Monday (19th May) they would both be leaving Perth.  I had helped Chloe organise and plan her east coast trip and so she was due to leave Monday night.  Aimee had decided to head over to Sydney for a few weeks before going home and surprising her mates.  So instead on Sunday, me, Aimee and Chloe headed into the city to get the last few bits and piece they needed before embarking on their next voyage.
Monday came around all too soon and I came home from work at 10am to help Aimee pack her last few bits and see her off.  After a bit of drama with luggage weight and some last minute cooking of noodles, the taxi arrived and I cried as I waved goodbye to my little sister.  After a few cuddles from Chloe and some heartfelt texts between me and Aimee, I headed back out the door back to work... only to find the postman had been and had brought me a package from Gemma!  So back in the house I went and sat on the sofa ready to rip open the package!  She sent me two lovely cards, some sweeties from Greece, a little Easter gift, some jelly bellies, The Sun and a magazine!!  Very impressed Gemzy.. you did well!!
Then on Monday night, Chloe got in her taxi and left us all stood on Bedford Avenue waving down the road at her.. again, there were a few tears.  So after crying in the morning saying goodbye to Aimee and then crying in the evening saying goodbye to Chloe.. I finally got into bed, completely drained with mascara trails all down my cheeks and KO'd into oblivion. 
It's been so strange this week having a room all to myself and a bed to sleep in!  Before that we had been taking it in turns to sleep in the only single bed we have whilst the other sleeps on the floor!  Then when Chloe got her, there were two of us on the floor and one in the bed!  Plus a mass of clothes, shoes and toiletries.. it was manic.  Now I have a bed all to myself and a whole load of hangers and space.  I'm not sure I like it. 
On Tuesday I got an email to say my 2nd year visa had been granted, that was a huge weight off my shoulders.  Thank you to all of you that kept their promise in keeping their fingers, arms, legs and eye crossed for me.. clearly it paid off in the end. 
Katie and I are still keeping ourselves occupied by trying to come up with a plan to travel the west coast up to Darwin.  After a little bit of research we realised that driving from Broome to Darwin is a big no no as the Kimberley's are all off road and you wont be able to see the bits unless you are with a trained off road driver.  So we have decided that we are still going to hire a campervan but instead we are going to drive from Perth to Broome, which is about 2,300 kilometres and then book a 6 day tour from Broome, through the Kimberley's to Darwin. 
We have also been debating seeing Ayres Rock, it's so annoying to get to and flights from Perth to Alice Springs are obscenely high.  So we are now thinking of doing a tour from Darwin to Alice Springs, seeing Ayres Rock and then getting The Ghan back.
The Ghan is a train that runs through the centre of Australia, from Darwin, through Alice Springs all the way down to Adelaide.  The views are meant to be amazing train and a great way to travel through the heart of Australia. 
Then once back in Darwin, we will fly over to Bangkok and start out Southeast Asia adventure.
Then hopefully we will fly over to Dubai on 27th November and then home from Dubai on 29th November.
Home.  Wow.  It feels so close and yet, still so far away!  I can almost taste Bev's roast potatoes!!!
I'm actually slightly nervous about coming home now, it will have been 20 months since I last saw stepped foot in England.  SO much has happened since I left and we have all changed so much.. I worry that everything will be different and I'm not sure how I will fit in again.  I'm also scared of getting stuck in that mundane 9 to 5 routine that I despised before I left.  No one let me work for Cambridgeshire County Council when I get back.. someone has to save me from myself!!  I'm still debating on joining the police force.. something I have been going on about doing for years now.  But anyway, you guys know me, I change my plans more than I have hot dinners.
The weather has taken a turn for the worst over here this week, it's now raining and really windy, although not cold yet.  Aimee is still in Sydney, with tonsillitis, a cold and an ear infection to keep her company.  She's spending her days watching DVD's, so far today she's watched '27 Dresses', 'Ps I love you', 'Nanny McPhee' and good old 'Harry Potter'.  She's taking 8 varieties of tablets every four hours and if you listen carefully you can hear her as she rattles down the stairs.  Unfortunately due to the possibility of her ear drum breaking, she can't fly.  So she's bound to Sydney for the next few weeks.  On the upside though, Chloe and Sharon will be making their way into Sydney soon so she won't be too lonely for long.
Tomorrow (Saturday 24th May) we are all off to Swan Valley for a wine experience.. http://www.outandabouttours.com.au/wine_exp.shtml
"This Award Winning tour takes in what the entire Valley has to offer. You will experience both family run vineyards, where the owners are happy to share their winemaking techniques, through to the large well known wineries.
After a morning of visiting a selection of the Valleys best boutique wineries, a gourmet lunch is enjoyed at either Sittella Wines or RiverBank Estate both delightful Award Winning wineries.
At the end of the day we visit one of the Valley's boutique breweries, to give you the opportunity for a refreshing ale, tea or coffee before indulging in a selection of hand made chocolates at the Chocolate Company."
So I have been really health conscientious these last few weeks, haven't touched alcohol, going to the gym all week, taking my multivitamins and now I am heading off on a day of tasting wines and eating cheese and truffles.  I think I will have to work twice as hard next week at the gym!!

Not much plans for the forthcoming week, Katie and I might head over to Penguin Island to see... well, to see some penguins.  Obviously.  But what with having to save save save, I'm not 100% that will pull off.

So, will up date ya'll again as and when something exciting happens.

Much love

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