A Travellerspoint blog

Day 24: Saturday 21st January

Perth - Kalgoorlie

all seasons in one day 38 °C

We said our goodbyes and left at about 8am. It was already 30 degrees!

As we were getting to the outskirts of Perth we came to a convoy of oversized trucks. So wide they took up 2 lanes, we were stuck behind them along with numerous cars. At times we were crawling along at just 15kmh... It was about 10 minutes before we could get past, and we only managed it because we were on motorcycles and thus narrow. I felt sorry for all the cars.

Our first stop was at Northam. Well, just coming into the town, as Glenn was pulled over by the cops for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. Luckily he got off with a warning. We had iced coffees and a break from the heat at a local cafe.

As we rode eastward the clouds started to develop and darken. We stopped in Merridan for lunch and then departed quite quickly hoping to stay ahead of the storms we could see approaching. Thunder was rumbling ominously in the distance. We stopped at Tammin for fuel. By now the wind was whipping up the dust and a storm looked imminent, so we decided it might be prudent to take shelter.

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We took refuge under a carport at the servo and watched the lightning. We had a few sprinkles of rain but seemed to be missing the storm, and we were wasting traveling time. Then we saw the oversize convoy pulling in (their first stop probably and we'd had 3.) We didn't relish the thought of getting stuck behind them again so we decided to don our wet weather gear and keep going.

No sooner had we left and we were in the rain. The temperature dropped to a glorious 23 degrees and we stayed dry! The rain didn't last long and we were getting hot again and had to stop to remove our liners. We reached Kalgoorlie at around 7pm and we were exhausted. Hard walls tonight!

Today's distance: 607km

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 18:39 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 23: Friday 20th January

Perth

all seasons in one day 39 °C

Teena had today off so we planned to ride up the Swan Valley.
The severe thunderstorm warning was a little alarming and the sky was looking very black to the south, but we'd been hearing threats of thunderstorms all week so we paid little attention.

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Halfway down the highway the skies opened and it poured.

Wearing only our summer gear with no liners, within moments we were drenched. The rain was so heavy we started to have trouble seeing so we pulled over then turned off the highway to look for shelter. As if I wasn't wet enough, as I cornered I rode through the water pooling on the road's edge and it splashed up all over me, completing the drenching.

By now we'd lost Teena and the best shelter we could find was in a park under a tree where we stood in boots full of water until the rain eased.

I was dropping my bike off for a service and we eventually caught up with Teena there.
There were many beautiful old Guzzis there.

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We ended up riding straight back to her place and changing out of all our wet clothes and taking the car instead.

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All our gear laid out to dry

So, we drove up the Swan Valley and had lunch at a cafe in a beautiful setting overlooking a pond.

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It was quite hot and humid and, of course, there was not a drop of rain for the rest of the day...

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I would not like to meet the spider who built this web!!

I picked up my bike on the way back. Riding back to Teena's the temperature was tipping between 39 and 41 degrees...

There just happened to be someone who made custom ear moulds in the next suburb from Teena's so I went and
had a new set made. I'll have to be extra careful to zip my pockets now!

Suzie came over and we went for dinner at the local pub. It was the first time the Guzzi Girls had really been together on this trip.

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The Guzzi Girls: Suzie, Jo & Teena

After dinner we drove to the marina at Hilarys and walked around a bit and had coffee. There were lots of people there and the atmosphere was festive.

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 18:25 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 22: Thursday 19th January

Perth

sunny 36 °C

This morning we had booked in to do a tour of the tunnels at the old Fremantle Prison. We arrived and had no trouble parking this time!

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Fremantle Prison

We had to suit up in coveralls and gumboots, then harnesses, life jackets! and hard hats with torches.

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Ready for the tunnel tour!

The tour required descending three flights of ladders down the shafts into the tunnels.Climbing down the ladders we were locked into a sliding mechanism (the same as on the Sydney Harbour bridge climb). At the bottom we explored the tunnels, many were not high enough to stand up in and the guide told us the history.

Fremantle prison was established to provide labour for the struggling community and in particular to establish a better water supply. The tunnels were dug by hand and water tapped and pumped by hand to supply the whole Perth area.

Some parts of the tunnels were flooded and for these we climbed into boats and paddled (or just pushed along off the walls as the tunnels were quite narrow) and explored further. Unfortunately I couldn't carry my camera into the tunnels so have no photos.

We had a brief tour of the prison grounds, saw some of the cells and yards.

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An old prison cell

We had lunch in Fremantle then went to Kings Park and the Botanic Gardens.

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This Boab tree was transported to Perth from Telegraph Creek in Northern WA and is estimated to be 750 years old

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Flowering Gum

Some friendly ducks came right up to us as we sat near the pond in the Gardens

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Duckling

From Kings Park we had great views of Perth city.

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We rode back to Teena's avoiding the Freeway so that we saw more of the suburbs.

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 17:58 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Day 21: Wednesday 18th January

Perth

sunny 37 °C

We had a relaxed morning doing a few chores.
We rode into the city, intending to explore Perth city. Parking was a nightmare and it was very hot. We finally found a spot for motorcycles and walked into the mall. There are 2 malls that run parallel to each other. We walked up one and down the other. We ordered coffee but they must have misunderstood me and we ended up with soy lattes...
We returned to the bikes and made our way to the pier where the parking situation was even worse. We were going on a 4 hour cruise and the longest you could park anywhere was 2 hrs. In the end we parked the bikes on the footpath where we thought they would be out of the way.
The cruise was very good. We had a buffet lunch and a bottle of wine as we cruised up the Swan River. We were sharing a table with another couple who were visiting Perth from Scotland. We spent about an hour and a half going up the river, having all the main sights along the river pointed out.

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The Swan River

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We watched a bird dive bombing for fish and were amazed at its speed and strike rate. The cruise stopped at the Waters' Edge Estate winery where we had a tasting.

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Waters Edge Estate winery

Dessert was served on the return trip and the crew entertained us. It was nice to sit back and let someone else do the 'driving'.
We had great views of the city as we returned.

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Perth city from the Swan River

We were disappointed and annoyed on our return to find that we both had parking tickets, marring an otherwise fantastic day.

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 17:47 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 20: Tuesday 17th January

Perth

sunny 36 °C

This morning we visited Hilarys on the coast north of Perth. We had breakfast at Chocolateria san Churros.

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We sat there overlooking the enclosed beach area, where lots of children were having swimming lessons. We walked around the quay looking at some of the shops, then checked out an African restaurant called Hippo Creek… (thinking of lunch already) but it was very expensive. We did note their 2kg rump challenge (at $100!!) where if anyone could finish it alone they got it at half price and their photo on the Facebook page!

We visited AQWA - the Aquarium of Western Australia where we saw a great display of sea creatures.

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There were also a couple of curious creatures poking their heads out of the water!

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We watched huge crayfish fighting amongst themselves for food and saw so many colourful and interesting fish.

Later we rode the coast road down through Scarborough then stopped for lunch in Cottesloe. We had a great view of the ocean from the pub window.

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We rode on to Fremantle planning to go to the information centre there. We had some trouble getting to it. We could see it, but the right turn kept eluding us until, in frustration, I gave up on the navigator and rode across the mall and parked right outside it!

We booked a couple of things for next few days, then went down to waterfront and had a ride on the ferris wheel there. It provided great views of the marina.

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We wandered around the pier area, sat and had a glass of wine (or so) then went back to Little Creatures for a light dinner. We rode back to Teena's in the dark (with clear visors this time!)

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 06:26 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

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