Friday was the unofficial start of this big weekend but really only for the celebrities and who's who in town, wasn't us!
Saturday morning we drove 30 minutes north of Margaret River to our meeting point to board the Kimberley Quest for a 'long lunch'. Turned out to be a fabulous day weather wise and also on the boat. We cruised around Goegraphe Bay sipping our way through Evans and Tate bubbles, Chardonnay and Semiilon Sauvignon Blanc but an large assortment of seafood finger foods including mussels, crab and corn bites, boutique burgers etc as well.
Headed out of Perth Monday morning to make our way down towards Manjimup. Stooped along having coffee and lunch along the way and found ourselves at the 'Kingsley Motel' in Manjimup. Booked in for 2 nights as we planned to explore the next day. Dinner at the motel restaurant, not much else around.
Next morning headed south towards Walpole, weather was kind and driving through Karri forest a lot of the way was very pretty. some amazing huge trees in this region. The drive down was just over an hour and on arrival made our way out to the 'Valley of the Giants' an amazing drive through giant Karri trees and out to the treetop walk. The trees here are all 'Tingle' eucalypt trees, many of them now protected in the National Park and absolutely majestic in nature.
Kemm and I flew firstly to Sydney and stayed overnight at Rydges at the airport. Caught the T-Bus from the terminal and had a bite to eat downstairs. Took a wander over to the international just to stretch our legs. An airside room is always good t Rydges as you can watch the aircraft take off and land for hours!
next morning (Friday) we caught the T-Bus back to domestic and eventually boarded Virgin's 777 in business class, their new 'Suites'. Window seats are single only so Kemm sat in 3a and I was in 4a. Delightful flight over to Perth, nearly 5 hours and 2 movies later, into Perth.
caught a cab into the Hilton, nearly $50 cab fare! Met up with a group of AFFer's for dinner at 'The Painted Bird' restaurant.
The journey begins! On planned schedule, we headed out of Perth and heade up through the city of Joondalup - an area that quite simply wasn't there 20 years ago!
Mum and I have been absolutely staggered at the growth of the urban area north of Perth - we drove through one area and all we saw was homes under construction with only the odd one occupied - a trades mans paradise! Those blokes and their utes were everywhere!
In just a couple of days we have also seen those huge Masters stores under construction - and right next to huge Bunnings stores also under construction! In Pat's words - massive!
The weather in Perth has been horrible - starting with a 3am thunderstorm which woke us both up - clap of thunder directly overhead!
Took us a while to get up and about with being up early whilst WA time caught up with us. Headed out firstly towards where I used ot live 25 years ago and called in there to drop off a couple of photos I had of when we built the house. No-one home so just dropped them in the letterbox.
Headed from there over to the coastline so we could follow the coast down to Fremantle rather than just whiz down the freeway. There is SO much growth in Perth it's amazing. It was very windy and rough on the ocean but stopped anyway for a few minutes just to check out the surf and a couple of photos of course.