Perth and the finishing line

Trip Start Dec 03, 2013
Trip End Mar 05, 2014

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Saturday, March 1, 2014

27th February 2014

The last full day on the road before the Bus is returned to Apollo. We had planned to stay on the outskirts of Perth in the Big4 but with the Aussies enjoying a bank holiday this weekend and the well known fact they like to extend them we decided to book in advance. Just as well as we were correct and they were fully booked.

No problem we booked in for another night in Ledge Point.

Yanchep National Park outside of Perth was our destination for the day.

The park is 60Km south of Ledge Point. The Indian Ocean Road was busier but nothing in comparison to UK. Lots of boats being towed including some real monsters yet towed by standard 4x4 vehicles.

We were impressed with the reception when we handed over our $12 vehicle entry fee and soon discovered that this Park was slightly different to the other national parks we had visited in that part of it was landscaped and it had a lodge, pub, banqueting hall and Jans highlight a Koala enclosure.

It wasn't long before we found a family of roos after visiting the koala's which meant Jan was happy all day.

Lunch on the terrace of the pub was first class.

Back at Ledge Point we soon packed and polished off the last of the beer supply.

28th February 2014

Time to head into Perth and hand back the bus, but not before stopping off in Guilderton where having seen the caravan park right on the beach/estuary we wished we had stayed there.
As ever the view from the lookout was stunning.

Apparently WA on its own would be the 10th largest country in the world yet only has a population of 2 million.

1.6 million of them live in or around Perth which would explain why even within 20km of the outer suburbs the place seemed deserted, then at the flick of a switch we were in suburbia, traffic etc.

Thanks to the sat nav we soon found the Apollo depot and the paperwork was efficiently dealt with and as good as their word they paid us for the kettle we had replaced, motor oil consumed and the night in a cabin when the AC packed up.

Top service and they didn't notice the curtains we had wrecked or the slightly looser front spoiler we had used as a bulldozer in the sand!

10 weeks in the bus shot by and we loved every minute of it ( apart from the beaching)

Comfortable both to drive and live in we clocked up 13014Km.

A $42 taxi ride ( pretty reasonable) and we were soon into our hotel for the next 4 nights. Fraser Suites in Perth CBD next to the famous WACA.

We looked like a pair of pikeys when we plonked our kit from the taxi outside the 5* entrance.

The camp porter dryly chuckled when Jan told him she didn't mind if he took us both by the back door!

Our one bedroom apartment is pretty cool on the 6th floor overlooking the Swan River and the WACA. Superbly fitted out complete with washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher etc. Jan was so impressed with the equipment the iron board was soon in use.

With so much glass it's hard to tear ourselves away from watching the world pass by. We can even see the cricket scoreboard.

Dinner outside at Positanos in the Northbridge area where we celebrated the completion of the bike ride last year.

1st March 2014

With a complete glass wall in the bedroom we could soon get used to this lifestyle, lying in a super comfortable bed with rich cotton sheets etc watching the numerous cycling peletons powering through the park avoiding the walkers, runners and other athletic types. No dog walkers though.

Wally being total strange one piped up that despite all this luxury, views to die for etc he probably slept better in the bus.

Perhaps it was the brat pack pillowcase that did the job!

Seeing the bikes made us feel like we should be out there getting back into some sort of fitness and then Jan had a brainwave. Having read the hotel info pack she noticed they had 6 bikes for clients use on a first come first serve basis so we hot footed it to reception and snapped up a couple of mountain bikes and disappeared into the Perth sunshine.

Setting off through the park alongside the Swan river we soon came across the Elizabeth quay development which will bring even more high rise buildings and a marina to the very centre of Perth.

Perth certainly accommodates cyclists very well and we were soon heading along the river to the Nedlands district. We had heard a politician discussing local district boundary changes and mergers and he was strongly against any changes.

We soon saw why row after row of top notch housing and facilities. We concluded it would be like merging Chigwell with East Ham ( not quite that bad).

Picnic lunch by the river watching the jet skis and boats of all types cooking nicely in the 38C sunshine.

Out of Perth we have come across plenty of large houses but in reality most are kit houses and look pretty crappy. Here in Perth it's the real deal, proper architecture and town planning and expensive materials.

We actually both felt rather envious.

Dinner alfresco in the Grosvenor Pub was a surprise bonus find but the Pale Ale was possibly stronger than Wally had expected!

2nd March 2014

Despite a thick head and the conclusion that the Pale Ale consumed the evening before was pretty strong Wally was up and at em at about 11.00!!

Things can be pretty laid back here but luckily other guests had the same idea and the bikes were still available for the intrepid explorers to commandeer and clear off into the Perth sunshine.

Over the Swan and South Perth via the Casino and entertainment centre all on cycle tracks.
South Perth still has plenty of impressive homes but the apartment blocks are just so well done we want one!

Stopping off for lunch supplies in Mendes not flash or pretentious but spot on with a view of the city just across the water.

Soon past the Narrows we found our own piece of beach next to the jet ski launch site. The motorway into town behind and us we suddenly concluded it was the road we had first come into Perth last year in the pouring rain. February 2014 rain, bugger all.

Back into the city and Kings Park. Wally failed to make it up the steep hill and Jan gritted her teeth to rub his nose in it but the lack of recent practice was evident and she had to give at the 75%
point. Not a bad effort though.

The hard work was worth it as the view of the city and river was spectacular. The park being home to war memorials was simply beautiful in design, maintenance and was being enjoyed by many family groups.

Wally enjoyed the trip back down but noted the number of weddings using the views for their big day pics.

In fact with so many stretched limos,, Hummers and even a stretched Roller it seemed to be the wedding day of the year.

Dinner in the apartment in readiness for our last whole day in Oz. (For the time being!)
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Galf on

Have a good return trip.
You'll have to do a similar trip around UK this summer, but you won't clock up 13,000km! And it'll probably cost you more, too.

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