We had the weirdest welcome to Perth when we tried to get a taxi to our hostel. One of the German ladies from our Uluru tour had also taken the same plane, so it made sense to combine taxis and drop off twice. When we presented the idea to the taxi driver he looked lost, like we had asked him to calculate the square root of 6,734. His reaction was to then ask a taxi driver behind if it was ok, to which the driver responded incredulously “of course”. Once in the car he fumbled his way around the TomTom, admitting defeat and instead insisting I direct him using my phone. As chief navigator I barked out my instructions, sometimes having to repeat left, whilst he attempted to turn right. Anyway we made it in one piece.

Our room at the hostel seemed initially satisfactory, lack of a window non-withstanding. However it would become apparent how unsatisfactory not having air conditioning in Perth can be. Instead we had a fan with a broken head so it could only point at a slight angle downwards.

After a night in which we nearly boiled alive in our room, it would have been good to have a lie in

Unaware of the torturous night ahead we wandered the local streets in what was now 42 degrees of heat. The song ‘Walking on the sun’ kept popping into my head, not sure why.

Kelly discovered that on a rooftop, that evening we could watch Ghostbusters on a large screen. Which sounded fantastic, and was. Comfy seats and familiar scenes, washed down with prosecco and popcorn during the setting sun. Heavenly.

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After a night in which we nearly boiled alive in our room, it would have been good to have a lie in. Unfortunately / fortunately it was Super Bowl Sunday and the festivities started at 6:45AM, so no such luck.

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Tired and now slightly drunk before midday we decided to pad some time rather than take a nap and went to the cinema. Today’s showing was The Big Short, a great film that demanded slightly too much of my brain at the time.

The reason we came to Perth aside from chilling out before we entered Asia was to go to Rottnest Island. Gemma told me in Melbourne about these smiley little creatures who wander into stores. I didn’t know their name before I got to Rottnest but we were on the hunt for a Quokka.

The ferry to the island took us down Black Swan river past the expensive homes and an unused submarine out to the sea. Still around 40 odd degrees when we arrived we bundled off the boat and onto our bikes. We got the day to ourselves, and the transport to get ourselves around.

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It was super hot and after 20 minutes of cycling my heart almost exploded trying to get up a hill. We then panicked after realising our water supply was running out, and doubles back to find the nearest tap indicated on our map. Struggling to do so we stopped in some shade to gather our thoughts. Suddenly a Chinese lad came over and asked us for some water, given his father literally looked like he was about to die there and then. We obliged our last few drops and continued to the tap.

Exhausted already we decided to take an easier route to a small beach and relax for the day. Constantly looking around the bush for the aforementioned Quokka, I began to lose hope of finding one – mainly as I had just discovered their nocturnal habit.

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A short time of the beach however yielded a welcome result. I wandered over to my bike oblivious to the furry-happy creature at my feet. Look – Kelly pointed out before I scrambled for my camera and attempted to snap the un-afraid, but constantly moving Quokka. I did my best:

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Achievement unlocked we headed back toward the pier for our trip home, where being Chinese New Year we passed by the dancing dragoon troops to eat a hearty Chinese dinner. Probably shouldn’t have chosen this tonight. I said. We’ll be eating Asian for for the next 8 weeks.

Our final day was spent wandering around Perth’s botanical garden in yet again the searing heat. Simply Red providing the backdrop as they rehearsed that nights set. They’d been following us around Australia so it was fitting that our last day here would feature them.

On reflection Australia is an amazing place. It’s animals leaving the strongest mark on me. Australia is a place I could live, a place I feel I haven’t totally completed so can go back (looking at you Great Barrier Reef) another time. By the end I am ready to leave, it’s a vast place, and travelling is tiring here. Mainly though I think those feelings come from the anticipation of Asia, our next destination…

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