Day 187 to 191 – (9th – 13th Mar) Perth

11 04 2011

Perth is home to Gavin and Kate. Gavin who is often sporting a tan darker than me was looking almost pasty – this must be on account of him being over worked looking for oil off the North West coast of Australia; whilst Kate was looking her usual glamorous self.

Perth with its warm dry climate and cool sea breeze seems a world away from hot sticky tropical Cairns; and so it should. Situated 3,500km or 5 hours by plane from Cairns, it is the most remote capital city in the world, with Jakarta being its closest neighbour. Perth is lovely, a sprawling modern low density city with pristine streets and parks. Founded in 1829 as the Swan River Colony it had its numbers bolstered by convict labourers; the population has now swollen to 1.5 million in large part due to the monumental mineral deposits throughout the Western Australia territory. Iron ore, Coal and Gold are Australia’s bread and butter and thanks to China, Japan and South Korea, this has made Australia a very wealthy country.

Our first day was spent walking around the city and what we saw we liked. We fell in love with Subiaco and failed to come across a bad area. We loved the grand stone and brick colonial buildings, often built by convicts. However, St Mary’s Cathedral has been butchered by a hideous modern extension. We couldn’t spend any time in Perth without experiencing a day on part of its 40km’s of stunning chalk white beaches and under it’s royal blue skies. Cottesloe beach was as good as any – it was in fact better than most – probably one of the nicest city beaches we have visited.

We also took the obligatory Swan Valley River and Wine tour which had our first glass of wine in our hands before 10am and bladdered by lunch. A 100% successful trip and very informative… apparently. Jen, Gavin and I took a day trip to the very beautiful Rottnest Island. Named so, as a rat/ rott like thing inhabits the island. Ignoring these rabbit sized half rat half kangaroo things for a minute it really is a nice island with plenty of nice beaches and no cars. Just pedal power and shoe leather. Our day was spent cycling around the island from beach to beach having the odd dip in the warm clear waters.

On another of those typical Perth days, Gavin and I showed the girls a thing or two on the driving range before a nice picnic in Kings Park. Kings Park is nicely perched on a hill over looking the Swan River and CBD. It has to be said, if I were to design a city it would probably look and feel a lot like Perth. That evening we went to see Western Force v Auckland Blues, the equivalent of the Champions League, but for rugby. I think it ended 21 a piece and a great match for the naturals – Kate looked pissed. To be fair The Force squandered a healthy lead and The Blues equalised with the last kick of the game. Rugby was very much the winner…

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