Trip Start Feb 11, 2007
Trip End ??? ??, 2008

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

My time in Perth was well spent and served as a nice little transition back into life in Australia.  I was glad I had the chance for a little stop over, as I am not sure if I will be able to get back over to this side of the country, and many people have told me Perth is a great place to visit.
Perth has a population of about 1.5 million people and is the capital of Western Australia.  Founded in the 1820's, it was the first major settlement in the west.  After intense conflict with the Noongar tribe, the colony was eventually opened up for housing convicts by the 1850's.  Western Australia now stands as the center for Australia's natural resource industries, with vast amounts of gold, iron, nickel, coal, oil... and diamonds!
It was amazing flying into town, as you basically see nothing, then all of a sudden there is this bustling metropolis out of nowhere.  The city is laid out quite nicely and is easily navigable by foot. 
I spent my first day at the award winning Perth Zoo, where I was able to see excellent Australian bush, tropical rainforest, and African Savannah exhibits. There was this great section where you could walk a path and be surrounded by kangaroos and wallabies, only feet away.  I was however, a bit sad for the Indian Elephants as I had seen them in the wild, walking along a river in northern Thailand only days before.  They looked content, though.
As I was leaving the zoo, it started raining buckets and the temperature fell.  Even though it was the monsoon season, I think I only saw rain once or twice during my travels.  You can imagine how I felt leaving a sunny 35c for an overcast, wet 13c....  I spent the afternoon dodging the rain, walking through shops.  I found a great record store where I found a Van Morrison record I have been wanting for years. 
The next day, I spent the morning touring the museums, where I got a chance to see Ned Kelly's infamous helmet and a nice selection of aboriginal art.  I caught a cheap movie in the afternoon to relax a bit before my flight, then I was off to the airport. 
I caught the night flight back to Melbourne and arrived around 6:00 this morning.  It is a little bittersweet, as my head is still buzzing with all of the events of the past month, but it is great to be back in Australia.  Despite the weather, I am high spirits and have a renewed sense of ambition and vigor.  It looks as if I will have some great classes this semester, and I ready to get back to the books.
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