Perth and The Australian Exodus

Trip Start Oct 20, 2009
Trip End Apr 01, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The journey to Perth from Cairns was something just short of a nightmare. The initial flight was fine, and I landed back in Melbourne at around 5am. Having met an Irish girl on the bus to the airport in Cairns, we hung out in the airport until about 7am when the hostels would be open for her to go and find somewhere to stay. We said our goodbyes then i found a suitable corner in the airport, curled up next to some other sleeping travellers and proceeded to sleep, off and on, until about 2pm. I pretty much traversed every square metre of the airport, happy to have a bag trolley to literally take the weight off my shoulders and spent far too much on airport food, before retreating to a cold, hard bench to sleep a bit more. By hard, i mean really hard. It was like sleeping on a slanted bed of nails, collecting bruises wherever my bones rested on the unforgiving metal.

Arriving in Perth, in the middle of the night, tired and weary, i crashed out immediately. Unfortunately after having spent 28 hours constantly either on planes or in airports, under cold air conditioning, i had developed a cold and felt really run down. Venturing out a little into the hektik concrete jungle of Perth City, i wasn't really in the mood to enjoy what little scenery i was presented with and didn't ever really feel a connection with this Londonesque location. Halloween came and went with little participation from myself. Too ill to join in the merriment and too uninspired to dress up, i started to miss the Lords Lodge a bit and wondered what crazy shenanigans they would be getting up to and wished i was there to participate. The hostel i stayed at put on a good show and most people there dressed up and there were some pretty ingenious costumes.

The only part of Perth i could really appreciate it was Kings Park, up on top of a hill overlooking the city. It is a very well laid out botanical garden complex, supporting a very aesthetic array of plants and herbs, set in idyllic peaceful surroundings. The main feature of the park is a memorial to commemorate soldiers lost in the war, relating to the battle that they commemorate on Anzac day. The monument they chose to respect the fallen is, of course, an ancient Egyptian Obelisk. Of course. Because they've got so much to do with the war haven't they? Yeah... Obelisks...?

Having checked in my bags and passing the rigorous bag searching and frisking process, i sit in the quiet, apprehensive atmosphere of the departure lounge, surrounded by many tired and thoughtful people, all either ending or beginning a holiday of their own.

It feels a shame to leave Australia. I have enjoyed the relative safety and comfort of this country, where everything is made for backpackers and everything feels just like home, but warmer... mostly. Skipping from town to town, i have gathered a fair idea of what this country holds and i like what I've seen. I would definitely come back, possibly to scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef and feel that ill always carry a part of the Ozzy way of life with me.

Although i did get a sense that some of the towns here are very purpose built. Its almost like this country has been made for backpackers. I can definitely see the commercial influence has been the main factor in the creation of some towns, being based around shopping centres, a road and not much else. In comparison to some towns back home in England which were established many years ago, developed their heart and then the commercial side was added on top of this. These new Australian towns are based solely upon commerciality and tourism. Almost like the town has been drawn upon a sheet of acetate and then placed along a random road, interchangeable with any other town, should the tourism stop, or the commercial side be affected, with no heart, these towns would wither and die, with the government simply moving the sheet of acetate, or city plan to a new location and starting again with a new up and coming Acetate Town. Very plastic and very false, but then i suppose that's all to be expected with a newly developing country, trying to find its roots in a time ruled by money and the manipulated desire to consume.

I have absolutely no idea what to expect from Bali and have a peculiar mental image for what awaits me at the other end of this flight. For me, this feels almost like the real beginning of my travelling adventure in a way, as although i have already been travelling over a year now, Australia has been almost too easy to travel, being designed for backpackers and being so much like home, there have been few real challenges and even fewer moments where i felt out of my comfort level.  Now I will be travelling alone through Indonesia, a country I knew nothing about until a couple of months ago, and considering that it is not really part of the main backpacker trail of Australia and the Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao circuit, I will now be venturing into uncharted territory, carving a path through Indonesia, a completely unexpected addition to my journey. I've never really given much though to this part of the world and i think that's what draws me to it.

This is a challenge I am excited to take on and I look forward to seeing some new places, new cultures and unexpected treasures that this promising new land may hold.
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