Travelling Australia


11 years ago yesterday we shared our vows. Our love continues to grow as we grow together. We have had some amazing experiences in the 13 years we have been together, and been many places. On our special day we have often done something extra special, like our 5th Anniversary in Paris. Last night we had a wonderful dinner together at the Red Cabbage, South Perth. This was a tasting menu or degustation as some call it, whatever you call it, every dish was delicious. This will go alongside the many treasured memories we have shared and many more to come…

 

The Full Monty

The Full Monty

Amuse Bouche

Amuse Bouche

Scallops Bonito and Apple

Scallops Bonito and Apple

South West marron, salmon pastrami, wasabi and soy

South West marron, salmon pastrami, wasabi and soy

Garden

Garden

Trout, cauliflower and hazelnut

Trout, cauliflower and hazelnut

Pumpkin White Chocolate Cashel Blue and Cheddar

Pumpkin White Chocolate Cashel Blue and Cheddar

Chocolate Coffee and Wattle Seed

Chocolate Coffee and Wattle Seed

Burnt Honey Parfait and Mango

Burnt Honey Parfait and Mango

Having lived in a number of different places this challenge is a good one for me. Though Brunei doesn’t really have any seasons being only 6 degrees North of the equator. So I will be posting two entries to the challenge. This is the first, Australia. Here in Perth, Christmas day is typically around 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). So having a white Christmas is out of the question, and even in winter it is not cold enough to enjoy snow, though I know if it is too much snow it isn’t enjoyable. The life in Australia typically revolves around the ocean as most of the population lives close to the coast. Here are some photo’s from different times of the year.

West Coast Eagles at Subiaco oval - Winter

West Coast Eagles at Subiaco oval – Winter

A summer picnic at Kings Park overlooking the city

A summer picnic at Kings Park overlooking the city

A winter's trip down south.

A winter’s trip down south.

Spring flowers

Spring flowers in the hills of Perth

Summer at Rottnest

Swimming at the basin, Rottnest Island Perth

 

When I saw this challenge I thought there could be two meanings to the challenge. Reflections that are mirror images or reflections of the past. I reread the challenge and it was clear the challenge is about mirror image type reflections. Here are a few reflections taken with my trusty PowerShot in a place called Pemberton in Western Australia. I wrote about this here https://lplk.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/karri-valley-resort/. They were taken from the back of a kayak, enjoy.

IMG_1279IMG_1273IMG_1258IMG_1278

To celebrate the year that has been, especially after completing my final Bachelor of Psychology and Addiction studies exam on Friday, we decided to have a nice breakfast in Northbridge, Perth. The venue we chose is The Tuck Shop. The reason we chose this was the number of positive reviews on the eatery websites, over 1000 people had reviewed and the rating was high.
So to beat the rush we left home at 740am, yes I know early for a Sunday but we get up early so no problem. We arrived just after 8am and it was already busy.
The cafe is quite small, with lots of tables, so you can imagine it is quite noisy, but that was the only negative. The service was top-notch, very attentive and not pushing us to get out of the place. The coffee, whilst reasonably strong, was very nice. The food was great and good value for money. We left at 940am, so it was a long and enjoyable breakfast, normally I want to get in, eat, then get out. So if you are in the neighbourhood, do check out this cafe for your breakfast, you won’t be disappointed.

The internet seems awash with daily deals from a variety of places these days. We keep an eye out for something different as well as something of value. One such deal came our way and we are so glad we took it.

We live in Perth, Western Australia, which has an island some 18  kilometres from the city called Rottnest (named after the rat like marsupials – quokkas). This island is a place frequented by Perthites who like the beach and the booze, neither of which are high on our list of likes. I hadn’t been there since year 10 high school, and frankly really didn’t want to go there. Anyway, this deal came up for a scenic flight for two across to Rottnest which included snorkelling gear to keep. So we were up for the adventure.

The flight was exhilarating and enjoyable, especially coming in to land with a strong cross wind that turned the plane sideways. Once we landed we had six hours to explore the island and have some fun. So we headed on over to see if we could get a tandem bicycle for the day, but unfortunately they were all hired, so it was shanks pony for us. Fortunately the island is quite small so it didn’t really matter.

We headed out to the basin to swim and have some fun. It was quite a warm day, so it was lucky we found a shady spot to sit and enjoy the day. I walked back to the town to grab lunch, which cost an arm and a leg and took forever to get! So hopping back on my one leg with one arm I took our lunch and coffees, nearly losing my arms with the weight of it all. Got back and had a nice lunch looking out over the basin and the tranquil sea. Then a friendly quokka came for a visit and stayed for a while.

We had a bit of a swim and a snorkel and then decided it was time to head on back to the airport for the flight home. This was as enjoyable as the flight there. Frankly the flight was really the best part of the journey, Rottnest is a nice place, but there are way too many people there and everything is way too expensive even though it is only 18k from the city. So we won’t be going back there in a hurry. Though this is not to put visitors off, you may enjoy it, it’s just not our thing.

View over Nhulunbuy (Gove) NT from Mt Saunders

View over Nhulunbuy (Gove) NT from Mt Saunders (Photo credit: gblack571)

 

Gove Sunset
Kevin Bloody Wilson. A performer of Australian...

Kevin Bloody Wilson. A performer of Australian odes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cape Arnhem is the extreme eastern tip of Arnh...

Cape Arnhem is the extreme eastern tip of Arnhemland. Kakadu is over 260 miles away on the western border. billbeee 08:27, 20 May 2007 (UTC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Four years into my drafting career I had the opportunity to work in Nhulunbuy (Gove), on the tip of Arnhem land. A friend that I had worked with in Sale worked there and got me a job there. It was a great place to work. Lots of fun to be had, and lots of money to make. That is if you didn’t drink it, smoke it or gamble it away. Not saying which one of the three I did but I did partake in two of them lightly and the other one in a big way, sort of wasted the time being there by doing that. But hey I was young and foolish and didn’t know then what I know now.

Anyway I stayed there a year and had a ball. Thursday nights a Scottish guy I worked with would go to the Jam bar and get up and sing Neil Diamond songs until the wee hours of the morning. I always wanted to get up and play the drums but never got the courage to do so. We would often go home slightly inebriated and then shower, breakfast and take the first bus to work. Not that you can do that kind of thing anymore with all the Health and Safety regulations in place.

Another mate and I would bet a slab of Toohey’s Red on the state of origin games, he being a Queenslander and me being a non-rugby league West Aussie would invariably wind up buying him a slab of beer. Other mates I played cricket with on Sunday mornings and then two games of hockey on a Sunday afternoon, then a few drinks down the surf club watching the sun go down.

Friday night was the highlight for all the ferals in town, this was the nicker night, I didn’t go there, not only because I was umpiring indoor cricket, but I could never see the point. What would happen would be a girl would fly in from Darwin for a week and serve at the bar. On Friday night if you bought a beer (another reason I don’t drink beer!) you would get a ticket and then they would draw out three tickets during the night. The girl flown in apparently wore three pairs of nickers and obviously the lucky holder of the third ticket got the biggest thrill!

I had my first taste of deep sea fishing while I was there. One of the guys we worked with had a boat and took me and Albert (the rugby league slab of beer one) out fishing. It was a little choppy and I had to go to the front to drop the anchor, now being a land lubber I wasn’t really that good at balancing and when a wave hit I lost balance and could have chosen the Hammerhead infested water or the hatch to land on. After breaking the hatch I wasn’t very popular. I caught three fish, I think we all caught three each, they took 20 minutes or so to get into the boat and my arms were shaking like jelly. I didn’t eat them because I wasn’t into seafood back then, but apparently you had to feed a bit to the local stray cats and wait 10 minutes, if the cat keeled over you couldn’t eat the fish, Sakatawara – where the little fish eat poisonous algae and the big fish eat the little fish.

The agent I worked for came up one time and took us to see Kevin Bloody Wilson and another comedian while he was there. Kevin signed the shirt I bought, he asked, “What’s your name and favourite song?” “Andrew, and the phone song”. So he signed my shirt – To Andy Stick that f#@*ken phone…

I had many adventures in the year I was there, and many disappointments, missed my football team winning their first premiership, caused a bit of trouble for a few people, and didn’t go home with much money. But it was a great experience that I will never forget, and I am often reminded of those times now with all the mine workers flying in and flying out.

If anyone works in this situation and reads this, take some advice from someone who didn’t make the most of it. Enjoy yourself, but don’t waste it all, if you are young, set yourself up for the rest of your life and have even more fun. Don’t do it all at once.

English: Bauxite processing plant at Nhulunbuy...

English: Bauxite processing plant at Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, Australia. Freeze frame from digital video shot by me from inside helicopter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Being fortunate to work somewhere and have the option of working longer hours to then have every second Friday off, we chose to do a little exploring on my Friday off today. We have never been drinkers of wine, the only time we have had wine with our meal and enjoyed it was our 6th Anniversary in Paris. So we decided that it was about time we went and did some wine tasting to see if we could get to know what the big deal was. Hmmm I guess we still wonder :).

The wines were nice but not something that gives us that “wow we have to have this” feeling. Same with the coffee, nice and interesting to hear about it all, but the coffee we already get is nicer and cheaper, so we will stick to that.

I know I sound negative and down in the mouth about it all, but we did enjoy the trip, just still didn’t get the big deal about wine with your meal and all that.

The highlight of the trip was our high tea at Cape Lavender. The food was nice, tea was nice and the company was even nicer.

Nice High Tea, Reasonably priced and quite tasty, and of course with Lavender tea and Lavender scones.

Cape Lavender – Swan Valley, Western Australia

Nice setting at Cape Lavender on the first day of winter

Next Page »