Travel Journal

The WACA Cricket ground, Cottesloe Beach and The Indian Pacific to Adelaide

(Sunday 11 October 2009) by Al/Alvin "Poison" Challis
It has been a few days since i updated people as to what i have done so i thought i would try and condense things a bit more so as to prevent so many journal entries.

Last Monday i went to the WACA cricket ground in Perth and took of the ground and museum. I have to say that it is an incredible cricket ground and it is one that i would love to come back to and watch a test match or a state cricket match there. The atmosphere would be incredible.

After leaving there i jumped on the train and headed to Cottesloe Beach about 12km out of Perth. It was areally beautiful beach and i strolled along the coast towards Scarborough Beach and walked back and got an Ice cream from a place called Il Gelato. It was possibly the best ice cream in my life due to the fact that they had a flavour there of Tiramisu which i have never seen anywhere else. It was a taste sensation in the form of a cone!

I got the train back to Perth and decided that a few beers recommended to me by Doug at the Brass Monkey Pub coould be the order of the day. They had a chocolate stout there which was absolutely delicious and subsequently tried a beer called Yak IPA which was just as good also. I got talking to an Aussie guy called Ryan who lived on the outskirts of Perth and had a few beers with him and found out that his missus was from Essex, UK and she was having a job interview in the city whilst he was here having a few cold ones. It turned out that he was from Adelaide and i gained a few pointers as to where to go there as that was going to be the next stop on my trip.

I staggered out of the pub and headed for home and was greeted by a plate steaming hot pasta and Beef which had been cooked up by the frenchies. "Al, mon amis, encule, dinner is served" said Fabien as we all sat down and ate in true civilised family hostel style. I went to bed and was treated to a rendition of Beethoven's 5th Symphony via the snoring exploits of Nicolas and a newly arrived Taiwanese guy which was possibly the loudest snorer i have ever had in my life.

I had liked Cottesloe and Fremantle so much that the next day i headed back there again with a few others from the hostel and shared its delights with them. I flew the Dorset flag at Cottesloe and claimed the beach for the good county of Dorset. With the Pacific at my back, i felt i had begun the first step of recolonisation for my fair county.

Peeps persuaded me from the hostel to head out that night as it was my last one in Perth to head to a bar called Rosie O'Gradys close by to the hostel.Everyone was in good form and got suitably merry and talked each other how much we love each other and how we are going to stay in touch. To be honest with the people in that hostel, i dont think it will be a problem at all. Everyone in that hostel i met was an absolute hero and i will miss them all.

The next day i departed Perth and headed to Adelaide via train on the Indian Pacific. This was a trip that i had looked forward to doing when i booked it back in June so i was really forward to the prospect of seeing desert and nothingness. A bit of an odd appeal you might say but a trip that was well worth it.

Along for the journey with me was a guy called Jerry who was sat next to me and at the age of 75 was looking well and in good spirits. He had just been to see his son in Geraldton, WA and was heading back to melbourne and wanted to see some countryside on the way back.

What i could not fathom whilst being on the train was the amount of different and diverse landscapes that you could see out of the window during the course of the trip.From the forested woodland area of the Avon river at the start of the trip through to the wheatlands of central WA, looking out of the window was never dull. It was barren and desolate and i did not see humanity for hundreds of Km's out of the window. But it was never dull.

We arrived at the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie-Boulder at around 10pm on Weds 7th October and i paid for a tour of the city whilst the train refuled and took on water. Kalgoorlie is famous for the fact that it has the largest open-cut goldmine in the world, and i thought when in Rome, lets take a look.

The tour commentary was pretty crap to be honest and the tour guide an absolute moron. However, it was good when we got to "the superpit" as we could take a look at it from a lookpost post above it. It was pretty amazing that you could look 400 metres down and see all of these lights from the trucks and excavators that were driving around. We headed back to the train and i got my head down knowing that any sleep i got was a bonus.

I awoke around 7am and found that we had just entered the famous Nullabor plain and there was only word that i could use to describe the landscape: SAVAGE. Anyone who lived out here that was not on this train i immediately classed as a dickhead and could not understand why anyone would live out here.

My feelings were justified when we stopped in a place called Cook, which was right out in the middle of the Nullabor. Cook looked like one of those palces that you would associate with the Mad Max films. Coincidently, the lady who ran the gift shop in Cook looked like a young Mel Gibson. A mullet type haircut and a cheerful smile, she boasted that the gift shop made around 750$ every 6 weeks from travellers on the train. It kept the town going as it were, but why a town they called it as it only had 5 people living there!

Most of the town was dilipidated and run-down. The school had died a death as did the hospital and the goals consisted of 2 wooden toilet cubicles which had long since been used. I took some photos and wondered what would possess anyone to live here.It was a wastlelandbut i suppose it was their wasteland and that was probably the most important thing.

After Cook, the train continued across the Nullabor on the longest straight stretch of track anywhere in the World, at 477.9km. An incredible fact but it gives you an idea as to how big this country actually is.

It ended up being a long night as i started drinking with a NSW guy called Tony who was a sheep farmer and lived out in the bush there, and thought that drinking may give me some serious shuteye. It worked. Upon arising from my day/night reclinign seat, i was in Adelaide, City of churches and another stop on my grand tour of Australia.:-)

  • Snoring!! by Dad


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