Travel Journal

Fremantle and King's Park

(Sunday 4 October 2009) by Al/Alvin "Poison" Challis
Having recovered from the night before, i rose late and decided that i would take a trip to Fremantle ("Freo" as the locals call it), which is Perth's Port about 19km west of the city. I did a quick tour around the town before heading to the shipwreck galleries and having a look around. It was a good little exhibition and the wreck of the ship, the Batavia, was awesome.

Afterwards i felt a little peckish and decided that fish and chips could be the way to go considering that i was by the seaside. I opted for a highly praised place called Cicerello's and it did not disappoint. Dodging the seagulls and making sure that i cleaned my table unlike some fellow unassuming Chinese tourists, i can safely say that it was possibly one of the best fish and chips that i have ever had. It was certainly better than the cremated horse manure that i usually get back from my local in Bridport where everything looks as though it has been mutated in some way or form.

After Cicerello's, i made my way to the Little Creatures brewery bar which was close by decided to have a couple of well deserved pints of ale. Little Creatures was great and i tried A pint of Roger's IPA and the Pilsener whilst i was there. Both were cracking pints to drink and to chill to.

I then caught the train back to Perth and headed back to the hostel, where i for the course of the evening relaxed, updated my blog and got a good night's sleep...WRONG...again. It was found that we had two people in our dorm from Toulouse in France and one of the guys located under me was one of the biggest snorers i have ever heard. I swear i did everything that i could to try and make him stop. I rocked the bed, i loudly complained by saying to no one in particular "oh please just shut the f**k up!!". But all to no avail. With every brief lull there was every another wave of noise like a demented sonar system of a submarine that had lost it way in uncharted waters. It was rather a worrying sound that if it continued would need to be assessed and dealt with me in the appropriate manner. The sinuses need to be sorted out.

It meant in the morning that the couple in the adjacent bunk from me decided that enough was enough and they needed to move to somewhere more quiet. I agreed that something needed to be done about the Dickhead otherwise words may need to be had. However, in hindsight of this, i decided to leave any further confrontation that may cause any conflict. I did of course not want to get thrown out of the hostel.
Instead i decided that the next best thing on the first stop of the day was to buy a set of earplugs to prevent any further disruption to my already erratic sleeping patterns. This was followed by a trip to the Vodaphone shop to buy a SIM card so that i could start connecting to people in Australia by phone.

My first call was to my mate Glen who lived in Auckland. "Hey Glen, it's Al" I screamed down the phone and all i could hear back down the phone was laughter and ahappy voice saying how good it was to hear from me and how much of a great time that i was going to have in NZ. i said i could not wait to get there, but first i had to enjoy the delights of Perth and the rest of Australia.

I made my way to King's park which is a big expansive park on the outskirts of Pert. I had heard good things and i was not disappointed in any way shape or form. It was simply sensational and the highlight of my trip so far. I walked along one of the many walkways and paths that meander their way through the vast parklands. The amount of fauna was breathtaking and made me ask myself for the first time; "why the hell have i not done this earlier in my life and why i don't i ditch the rest of my plans and stay in Perth?"

Of course i am not going to but in asking these questions it gave an indication as to where i am at the moment. So many opportunities presenting themselves and then picking and choosing as to what i want to do and to go.

I ended up at the DNA tower or the "big double helix" staircase as i called it when i asked the lady on the information desk. i climbed to the top of this awesome staircase and looked out onto the Swan river and the Perth CBD and was in genuine awe as to what was in front of me. Just amazing.

I walked back into the city in search of something else to do and ended up at the Gallery of Western Australia. However, not before i had spoken to an Aussie guy selling books in the square opposite the gallery. I spoke with him for about half an hour about Australia and the UK and it brought home another thought that i had had for the past couple of days: Australians are generally very nice friendly people. You go into a shop and within 5 seconds they are talking to you asking how you are doing and if you need any help. Usually when asked this in the UK i would usually say "no just browsing or i am ok thanks" but over here they seem genuinely interested as to your needs and want to have a chat about nothing in particular.

I got to the gallery and the second in a day was awestruck but for completely different reasons. The contemporary Aboriginal art they had there was superb. I never knew that this art was so detailed and intricate and the meanings that the art had. I got told off by one of the attendants for taking photos though in true Aussie fashion i had a giggle afterwards. "No photos allowed mate". i love it how everyone calls each other mate over here It truely makes you feel a little bit more at home even if you have just broken the rules as in this case.

On the way back to the hostel, i got stopped by a woman who was disabled and was riding a mobility scooter. "Excuse me young man but i am wondering if i may be able to get any sense out of you?" "Depends" I said. "If you are asking for directions, then i probably wont be able to help you". "Actually i was wondering if you may be able to push my shoulders over?" Upon studying her a little more closely, i realised that that she was sitting up straight and form as far as i could see there was no need for me to do this. I instantly became suspicious. "Sorry but i am not able to do this. I am not qualified". And promptly walked off why i had just said what i had said, but knowing that hopefully i had done the right thing. i know that this will change if i see anarticle in the paper which documents her death due to reasons unknown. Of course however, let's hope that this does not happen.

I headed back to the Hostel and it was decided that we would go out that night to a gay bar called the Courtyard. We ended up out at about 10 in the evening and got back to the hostel at about 3 in the morning. The Courtyard was a great club. It is the first time that i have ever been to a gay club and can honestly say that i was pleasantly surprised by 2 things: 1) The amount of incredibly good looking girls and 2) The amount of heterosexual people that were there. It ended up that the drinks flowed, the music was pumping and a good time was had by all. A couple of the other guys wanted to head onto another club but having had enough and watching my finances again, i turned for home knowing that a good nights sleep was to be had finally with my newly purchased earplugs. B-)

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