A Travellerspoint blog

Thailand

And then there were 6...again!

sunny 28 °C
View Honeymoon! on Steve-Kay's travel map.

It was quite a quick flight to Bangkok from Darwin, about 6.5 hours not including stop-over time in Singapore. Despite being on 3 separate planes and us coming from the opposite side of the world, Mum & Dad, Dean & Kam and Steve & I all managed to land within an hour of each other so we met up at Bangkok airport! It felt like ages since we’d seen them and it was great to all be together again.

Dean booked an amazing apartment in Bangkok, with a spa on the top floor and an infinity pool on the roof!

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The views of Bangkok were fabulous...

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They had some gorgeous Christmas decorations up in the city, this is Siam Square...

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There were a couple of really nice parks in the city. This massive lizard thing came walking out of one of the lakes and scared the life out of us! They’re obviously common because we saw more of them as we walked around and the locals weren’t taking any notice of them!

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Another park had hundreds of turtles swimming around in the lake...

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You know you’re in Bangkok when...

...the traffic is like this all the time

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... someone balances a step-ladder on a car roof to fix a traffic light

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... and the men are prettier than you are!

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This was the Calypso Cabaret Show which we originally had front row tickets for, but then thought better of it in case there was any unexpected audience participation. They gave us a box instead!

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The show was excellent, really funny (especially when the people in the front row got some attention - phew!) and very well done. We thought this girl was the star of the show!...

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After a few nights in Bangkok we flew south to Krabi and stayed at the beach area, Ao Nang...

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View from hotel balcony...

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Thai good luck balloon which we released into the sky...

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We hired a longtail boat for the day and got to see some gorgeous islands...

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I think these monkeys thought we were going to feed them!...

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The snorkelling was great but some of the fish came right up to the surface anyway!...

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There are two islands that are joined by a sandbank under the sea, so you can walk from one to the other (you can see Kam & Dean walking across in the distance of this photo)...

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We decided to stay on-land the next day and went on a tour around Krabi. We did a bumpy elephant trek together through a rubber plantation, it was fantastic!

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We bought and fed them bananas afterwards and they were a bit cheeky...

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Next we went to the Monkey Temple...

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We stopped at Emerald Pool on the way back for a much needed cool off...

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Also from Krabi, we went on a speed-boat trip to Koh Phi Phi and the surrounding islands:

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A warning for us all...

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We got an incredibly slow minibus to Koh Lanta because the driver kept getting lost! It was a nightmare of a journey but it was all worth it when we found an amazing place to stay in. They were brand new (we were the first people to ever use them) bungalows surrounding a swimming pool, and we had the whole place completely to ourselves....luxury!

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Chilling out in a local beach bar...

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One night we caught a songthaew to the other end of the town and had dinner on the beach...

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We (the 'kids') booked a cookery course as a surprise anniversary present for mum and dad and it was fantastic!...

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Steve showing off his cheffy skills...

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Someone, not me I'm sure, decided that it would be fun to get an overnight train back up to Bangkok. We booked a 1st class cabin and had visions of the Orient Express, unfortunately that's not quite what we got!...

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The photos don't really show how grim it was! We did still manage to have a laugh though, especially when Steve and Dad jumped off at a stop to get some booze and we thought the train was going to pull away without them. We were all shouting out of the windows telling them to hurry up as they came running back with the goodies!!

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Dean found us a lovely hotel to stay in when we got back to Bangkok, this was the gorgeous swimming pool and restaurant area...

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We discovered that we could catch a locals' commuter boat from the city centre to our hotel. The water really splashes up at the sides so everyone get drenched if they don't pull the side up quickly enough! Also, they pull the roof down to go under low bridges so you have to remember to duck if you're standing up! We thought it was loads of fun but the locals were giving us strange looks for taking photos!

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Dean discovered this really strange Fish Foot Spa in the middle of a shopping centre, Dad was the only one brave enough to try it!...

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This 'wai' is the lovely greeting that the Thais use. It's very common but we were quite surprised to see Ronald McDonald doing it!...

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While we were away Dean proposed to his gorgeous girlfriend Kam and we all met up to celebrate afterwards...

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It was an amazing holiday but it seemed like no time at all before we had to say goodbye again, it never seems to get easier...although the beers did seem to help!

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Our latest travel map.....

Posted by Steve-Kay 18:48 Archived in Thailand Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Tom Price to Darwin

WA to The Territory!

sunny 35 °C
View Honeymoon! on Steve-Kay's travel map.

Only in the outback!...

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We stopped off at Hammersley Gorge, just outside of Tom Price...

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Then headed into Karijini National Park which was absolutely stunning and full of fabulous gorges to explore...

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Rock-climbing in my gold pumps, much to the amusement of the Aussies we passed...

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Steve doing his Indiana Jones impression!...

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A pretty Bug!...

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There were gorgeous natural rock pools to swim and cool off in. Us being the clueless Pommies that we are, were worried about the danger of crocodiles but were swiftly assured by a local ‘Nah there’s no crocs in there don’t worry, the sharks ate them all’ ...very funny!!

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We thought these trees were amazing, growing straight out of the rock...

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After Karijini we drove back out to the coast and up to lovely Broome in the North-West of WA. We loved it so much we decided to stay and work there for a couple of months.

Cable Beach...

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We arrived early in the morning and went straight into the sea. We didn’t realise how quickly the tide would come in and our stuff got wet before someone kindly moved it up the beach for us!!

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The ‘stingers’ this sign is warning about are Box Jellyfish whose sting can be fatal, but thankfully don’t arrive in Broome until November time...

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Cricket on the beach...

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The famous sunsets at Cable Beach...

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The airport is right in the middle of the town so the planes feel horribly close when they come into land!...

The wet season was starting to creep in before we left and we got to see this massive storm while we were at our friend’s house...

Unfortunately, we were too busy watching the storm to think about the fact that we’d left our campervan (which was parked at the pub) windows open! We jumped into a cab and went and closed them but it was already drenched so we stayed over at our friend’s place. Luckily though the sun was out again the next morning so it quickly dried!!

Having brekkie at Town Beach while drying our hand-washed tops for work...

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Gantheaume Point...

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I (Kay) worked at a wicked pub near Cable Beach...

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Their speciality was a Kilo of Ribs (we did share it!)...

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Steve worked at a lovely seafood restaurant down at the port. Before we left we went there for lunch...

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...and ended up having a champagne leaving-do!

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While Steve was helping with the daily clean-up, his work-mates completely soaked him, first with hose-pipes and then with iced-water (apparently it’s tradition!) ...

Broome was absolutely fantastic, we had an amazing time there and made loads of great friends so it was really sad to leave.

Our last night in Broome...

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YOU ARE NOW ENTERING CROCODILE COUNTRY....AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!

As we headed towards the Northern Territory these bulgy Boab trees became a common sight...

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Geike Gorge...

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Lake Argyll...

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Entering the ‘Top End’...

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They weren’t lying when they said the kangaroos were big in the Northern Territory!...

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They also weren’t kidding when they said it’d be hot, it was 40+ degrees during the day and not far short of 30 degrees at night. Not ideal when you don’t have aircon and you can’t have doors open because of all the bugs...aagh!

Next we went to Litchfield National Park...

These strange things that look like gravestones are actually termite mounds. Apparently the termites bury their dead at the top, the king and queen live at the bottom and the workers in between...

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There were beautiful gorges, waterfalls and rock-pools to swim in (although we had to share them with these lizard things which we weren’t too keen on)...

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One of the rock pools had these signs up which were a bit off-putting to say the least (especially as we were there at the start of the wet season)...

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We did brave a dip though, I stayed near the edge (where other tourists were swimming) but Steve swam all the way out to the falls!

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After an amazing but quite tough week of camping, we got ourselves to Darwin and treated ourselves to a nice air-conditioned hotel room!

This is the parliament building which appears to have a moustache above the entrance, we assume because of ‘Movember’ when people grow moustaches in November for a good cause!

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The Darwin waterfront is really nice. The sea in this part of Oz has crocodiles and box-jellyfish in it, so they’ve created a protected beach area...

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And a wave pool...

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The wharf has lots of fish & chip booths and even a couple of bar booths, it’s a lovely place to have a meal and sit looking out to sea or back at the city lights...

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We had 2 nights in Darwin before flying out to Bangkok for a ‘Rio de Janeiro Reunion’ woooohoooo!!

Posted by Steve-Kay 18:28 Archived in Australia Tagged automotive Comments (0)

Pinnacles to Cape Range NP

The gorgeous WA coastline!

sunny 25 °C
View Honeymoon! on Steve-Kay's travel map.

We heard a severe weather warning for Perth as we left so we were hoping to avoid it by driving north for a few hundred Ks, but we got absolutely hammered by the wind and rain when we parked up at Cervantes. Luckily though, it had calmed down by the next morning when we went to see the Pinnacles...

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When we arrived in Kalbarri (600kms north of Perth), we stopped to take this photo

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...........and accidentally parked in the middle of millions of big ants which started attacking us, yuuuuuk...

The coast around Kalbarri is stunning...

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The pelicans come up onto the beach every morning and we got to hand feed them which was excellent...

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Some cheeky sea-gulls tried to get in on the action and one of them ended up getting trapped, by the legs, in a pelican’s beak. It was hilarious, the pelican was shaking its head with the seagull in its mouth and the seagull was flapping like mad trying to get free.... I was laughing too much to get a video of it unfortunately! (The seagull wasn’t hurt and carried on fighting with the pelicans afterwards!)

We went to a fantastic BYO seafood restaurant in town which the guide book described as ‘no service, no corkage, no glasses, no frills’!

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Murchison River...

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Driving into Geraldton, we noticed these strange looking trees....

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On our way to Monkey Mia, we stopped at Hamelin Pool to see the ‘stromatolites’...

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Then we stopped at Shell Beach where the entire beach consists solely of, yes you guessed it, shells...

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Monkey Mia was really pretty

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and the dolphins come right up to the beach (they get fed in the mornings but seem to hang around all day)

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The guide said that this one was floating on its side so it could get a good look at everyone!

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Next we went to Carnarvon to re-stock as it was going to be the last major-ish town we’d see for a while!

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This is the satellite they used to help track the Gemini and Apollo space missions...

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There’s a brilliant blow-hole nearby, on the way out of town...

On the way to Coral Bay we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn...

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...and saw loads of these huge termite mounds...

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Coral Bay was gorgeous...

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These huge fish came right up to the shore and swam around our feet...

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The coral and fish we saw were fantastic, and it’s literally one step off of the shore so we could pop out for a quick warm-up (the sun was boiling but the sea was a bit nippy) and go straight back in again, no dramas (as the Aussies say)!

Steve cooking the lovely fresh scallops we’d bought in Carnarvon...

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The fishermen came in with their impressive daily catch...

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We forced ourselves to leave lovely Coral Bay after a week and drove up the coast to Exmouth, stopping to buy some nice prawns on the way

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That’s not a camper, this is a camper (you have to like Crocodile Dundee to appreciate that line)

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We saw this emu wandering around the town

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It’s stupid, I know, but I had to sit here...

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We got to Cape Range National Park nice and early to grab one of the few campsites available....

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The park is absolutely stunning...

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We mostly had the beaches to ourselves...

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...apart from the odd roo or emu!

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There was only one tap in the whole park and we found ourselves having to queue for it...

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Even though the park was pretty rustic, we really loved it there and stayed for more than a week. There was fantastic snorkelling at Turquoise Bay and Oyster Stacks. At Turquoise Bay, you swim out about 10m from the shore to pick up a reeeeeeaalllly strong current which carries you all the way down the beach, over amazing fish and corals until finally dropping you off at the sand bar! You don’t have to swim at all, it’s loads of fun!!

The second place where we camped in the park had lovely white sand dunes where we had a sunset picnic and glass of wine in the evenings....

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Apart from the gorgeous scenery, beaches and snorkelling, we got to see plenty of wildlife wandering around:

Echidna...

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Rare Black-footed Rock Wallabies...

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Goanna...

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We were just trying to work out if this shape was moving or whether it was just a rock...

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...when it suddenly bolted away, shooting out loads of black ink as it went (it was an octopus)!

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There are several separate campsites in the park and each one has volunteers who work as camp hosts for 10wks per season (unsurprisingly there’s a waiting list to get that job!), and one night they gave us a freshly caught (and filleted) fish for dinner, with some fresh herbs from their garden thrown in for good measure, mmmmmm!

We didn’t really want to leave Cape Range but thought we really ought to see the rest of WA, so we headed onwards and inwards to Tom Price in the outback.

Posted by Steve-Kay 02:14 Archived in Australia Tagged automotive Comments (0)

Wave Rock - Merredin

Trial Week

semi-overcast 21 °C
View Honeymoon! on Steve-Kay's travel map.

We’d bought a book listing free places to camp, because we begrudge paying £15 per night for a measly patch of grass on a campsite! This is the first place which was out in the middle of the bush on the way to Wave Rock...

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Wave Rock was really good and absolutely massive (the stupid surf poses are obligatory!)...

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From there we drove down to Esperance on the South coast of WA...

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About 60 kms from there was Cape Le Grand National Park. The weather was great and we had the whole of the gorgeous Lucky Bay to ourselves, so we got the best camping spot!...

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While we were having our brekkie outside a kangaroo came to see us, well it came to see what food was on offer anyway...

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On our second day in the park we went on a walk to the stunning Thistle Cove.....

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Next we headed inland up to Kalgoorlie, an outback gold mining town. This is the ‘Super Pit’ which is enooooooormous (as is the equipment used in it)...

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Kalgoorlie Flying Doctor Station...

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The road back to Perth from Kalgoorlie, about 600km, is really looooooong and straight for hours on end

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It would’ve been really boring without the oversize road trains hammering along and keeping us on our toes!...

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This water pipeline follows the whole 600km route and was built for the mines...

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We saw a camel farm on the road going out...

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We stopped off at a campsite in Merredin where the owner had some interesting pets...

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This bird took a shining to Steve (first time that’s happened in a while!) and it kept following him around before eventually climbing onto his shoulder!...

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The bird chased off the kangaroos and then did, what we can only assume was, an imitation of one - unbelievable!

Eventually someone helped get the bird off of Steve’s shoulder for long enough for us to get back to the camper, but it ran after us squawking as we drove away and we felt terrible!

We drove back into Perth a week after we’d left, having done a good test-run of about 2200kms!

Our friends Dave & Sarah spoilt us at their place for a couple of days and then we finally said goodbye to them, Perth, and hopefully the bad weather!...

Posted by Steve-Kay 01:46 Archived in Australia Tagged automotive Comments (0)

Living in Perth

Wembley, to be specific!

sunny 28 °C
View Honeymoon! on Steve-Kay's travel map.

We were really pleased to get the apartment, especially after hearing that 14 others had also applied for it. We’d looked at it with Mum and Dad and we all loved it straight away!

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The pool was gorgeous, always empty, and our garden backed onto it...

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We spent some time lazing around before starting some serious job hunting. Steve got the first job he went for, just after a week later, with a bank in the city and I eventually got a temporary contract with an oil company...

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Steve's work-do at the WACA...

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View from the kitchen at my work...

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There was a lovely area with BBQs around the corner from our apartment (called Subiaco Common) so we went there a lot, including on our 1 year anniversary...

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On Steve’s birthday we went to a fabulous BYO (bring-your-own booze) Italian restaurant over the road from our apartment. We showed ourselves up for the trampy backpackers we really are though unfortunately by filling up an old plastic water bottle with wine, from our 4-litre box, and taking that - it was a seriously cringe-worthy moment when the waiter offered to pour it for us (oh the shame!)...

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How many candles??!

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Steve opening pressies

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We were feeling energetic one bank-holiday weekend so we went for a long walk, through Subi Common...

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...and onto a gorgeous place in Perth called King’s Park, which has a glass tree-top walk-way

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...and fabulous views of the city

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On my birthday Steve brought me a cuppa in bed (I knew it was my birthday when that happened!) and gave me all of my lovely cards that had been sent from England...

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We went to Yanchep National Park which is about an hour from Perth...

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and there are loads of koalas and kangaroos there, it was fantastic...

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That evening we went to our trusty Italian for dinner (we took a proper bottle of wine this time!) and Steve got the whole restaurant to sing me happy birthday, while I went bright red and the poxy candles kept re-lighting themselves!

General stuff around Perth:

Hillarys Boat Harbour...

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Fish and chips on Cottesloe Beach...

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Mundaring Weir...

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Having a BBQ at Floreat Beach...

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Chef Collis had a candle-lit dinner ready for me a few times as I come home from work...

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The Aussie winter started creeping in around mid-June so it was getting cold (16-20C) and rainy, plus I was struggling to get a decent job after my initial contract ended, so we decided it was time to leave Perth.

Once we started thinking about moving on it all happened really quickly. We went looking at campervans for sale and liked the first one we saw. After some test drives and small queries, they got it all sorted out and set up for us and we picked it up about a week later.

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Our friend Dave giving Steve a crash-course in mechanics...

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Having a cuppa in South Perth...

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Steve's work leaving do...

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We had a 2-week warranty with the van so we decided to go for a trial-run down towards the south-east of WA before returning to Perth and starting off on our big trip (when we’d be heading north).

It took longer than we’d thought to move out (all Steve’s stuff of course) but we managed to squeeze it all into the van and we left our lovely apartment!

Posted by Steve-Kay 22:19 Archived in Australia Tagged living_abroad Comments (1)

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