We did not hit the ground running when we arrived in Perth. We did almost nothing for our first two days here, and not a whole lot on our third day either. Frankly, we were just worn out after our time in India and Hong Kong, and decided it was more important to rest and catch up on all the sleep we’d missed rather than get out every day. I slept over 11 hours the first two nights we were here – I was that tired. We were right to give ourselves six days here to pull ourselves back together.
Outings the past three days have been kept to a minimum – a short walk through our somewhat posh neighborhood (according to Brett’s friend Dave) to a nearby grocery for supplies the first (hot) day; a short walk for Brett over to the train station the next day to see where we need to go on Sunday morning; and a long visit with Brett’s friend from navy days yesterday. Dave married a local girl after a tour here in Australia, and has lived here for 28 years (and yes, he now has a heavy Australian accent). He and Brett had fun catching up and sharing memories. In between all this excitement we’ve been slowly getting our stuff moved around between suitcases so that we’re ready to check in for our train journey early Sunday morning.
Today we finally got out to visit some of the city, taking the OH HEY WA walking tour. We usually prefer to do free walking tours, but this tour got such fabulous reviews that we decided to splurge a little bit and give it a try since we we’re not doing much else here or eating out.
The tour was flat-out FABULOUS, and the best walking tour I’ve ever done. The tour ran the gamut from historical to modern, included more beautiful and thought-provoking street art than we ever imagined, and we also learned lots about Perth’s dining and bar scene. One bar intrigued us so much that Brett and I went back after the tour was over: The Flour Factory, an actual former flour factory (!) that has been converted into a gin bar. Since we both love gin and tonics we decided to spin the bar’s “gin wheel,” and each of us had a speciality drink made with a different gin, sourced from different places around the world. It was very refreshing and a great way to end the day.
Tomorrow is Australia Day, the official national holiday, so everywhere is going to be crowded, especially in the afternoon. We’re going to head into town in the morning to Elizabeth Quay, and from there take the bus down to see the famous Blue Boat House (officially the Crawley Edge Boatshed), and also check out the Eliza statue before heading back to Elizabeth Quay to take a leisurely gondola ride at noon out on the Swan River, another low-cost outing that gets rave reviews. It will give us chance to see some more of the city from the water. According to Brett’s friend Dave, if we go before noon we should miss most of the crowds, but the temperatures are expected to start climbing again tomorrow too. Eliza, by the way, is the statue of a swimmer that sits out in the water, who is always dressed in clothes appropriate to the season and goings on in Perth. No one knows exactly who dresses Eliza, or how.
We’re enjoying our Airbnb here except for the mattress. It’s the least comfortable of all the places we’ve stayed, and I wake up almost every morning with a backache. But otherwise the place is very comfortable and well-equipped, and the neighborhood very nice. We’re also getting the best of Perth summer weather: skies are clear blue, and temperatures have been around 80° with lovely breezes. Apparently the weekend before we arrived temperatures soared to over 100° and everyone was pretty much miserable, and it’s supposed to start going up again tomorrow and be miserable again on Sunday, right as we leave. We actually wish though that we could stay in Perth a bit longer, but our train journey across Australia awaits!