Perth - A dog dolphin some Quokkas and a crash

Trip Start Nov 12, 2007
Trip End Aug 01, 2008

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Flag of Australia  ,
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Arrived in Perth on Friday. Flying down the Western Coast before landing was great. You could see the white sandy coastline and the mixture of blue waters and it was beautiful. Can't believe we have finally made it to Australia.
Quarantine rules in Western OZ are very thorough. Smugly,I filled in my landing card confident that after my humiliation at Toronto a few years ago, involving my unwitting smuggling in of an English apple, I now had the system sussed. Not so. Confident that I did not have any drugs, firearms, fish or meat, I was caught out by soil. Any soil on sports shoes etc asked the card? Oh, only a pair of semi clean walking boots in my suitcase with good old English mud attached.
So whilst waiting for my suitcase to round the carousel, I pondered, with annoyance, about having to retrieve my boots from the bottom of the case and worried about the fact that they were stuffed full of underwear. I was momentarily distracted from this upcoming stress by the airport sniffer dog, presumably looking for drugs on the waiting passengers and in the circulating cases. What a cute and intelligent beagle I thought. I did not think him quite so cute when 5 minutes later he was sniffing excitedly at the rucksack at my feet. What can this be I thought? Had I unwittingly become a drugs mule in Singapore or had neurofen become a class A drug in OZ? The female official attached to the now not so cute beagle asked, "is this your rucksack Madam?" The official stared at me, the beagle stared at me, all the passengers awaiting luggage stared at me, all in anticipation of a real life drug bust. "Yes" I replied nervously, wishing that Rob was a top class criminal lawyer and not an (ex) probate lawyer. "Have you got fruit in your bag?" she asked. Not this again, I thought. I explained carefully, I had eaten a banana in Singapore and the skin had been disposed of there. I was off the hook - ha ha Mr Beagle - no bust for you this time.
Fortunately, after describing the offending dirt on my boots, I was allowed to enter OZ without further brushes with the officials. As, I walked out of the quarantine area, I left Rob in my wake having to show the officials his running shoes. They then commenced rummaging through his case for the jar of marmite, he had declared (another story entirely). However, the official took pity on Rob. On seeing the chaotic contents of his case, he either couldn't face disrupting them further for the marmite search or the aroma of said Marmite/ dirty washing was enough to rapidly conclude the search.
Rob can now do the constructive, informative part of the blog. E

Perth is all about the location and climate. Airy and full of parks and open spaces and it sits on the massive Swan River. Consistently sunny with a cooling breeze all the time we've been here.

Walking into town on the river is the best bit and we were lucky enough to see a dolphin jumping on our first day.

On one side of the hotel is King's Park with great views over the City a boardwalk in the treetops a moving war memorial and wild parrots.

We took a boat to the old port of Fremantle and Emma even managed to get me on to the local bus service which is completely free all day !!

For our final day I persuaded Emma that we should go to Rottnest (Rats nest) Island (thanks for tip Andrew S) to search for the famous Quokkas (look like half rat half kangaroo honest) I did not correct Emma's misapprehension that the island was in the middle of the river when actually it is 30 mins out into the Indian Ocean. My stock lowered further when the captain announced "Hold on to your hats its going to be bumpy"

On arrival we hired bikes and set out but after a couple of minutes we reached the first hill. I was leading of course with Emma tucked in behind. Over the brow of the hill came a father and young son at speed. The son was out of control. I skilfully avoided him but he ploughed on straight into Emma and they both tumbled. Father then tried to do an emergency stop failed and crashed into the road too. He was writhing in agony the kid was yelling and Emma was on her backside. I considered my options and decided riding on was not one of them. Fortunately all Emma broke was her break block though she has some nice bruises and grazes (scrages-Jeanne) The son was merely shocked and had some scratches and father had a bad cut on his hand and was winded. We were able to carry on and soon after had a picnic lunch with two quokkas who did indeed look like kangaroo shaped rats.

We are off to Ayers Rock now with temperatures of well over 100 forecast.

Thanks for the messages. Good to hear from you.  Rob
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