PERTH - Wednesday 1st November - Friday 3rd November (Days 5-7)
After a 4.5 hour flight from Singapore we landed (a very bumpy landing at that - the Freemantle Doctor?) in a sunny, cloudless Perth, Western Australia, in the early afternoon local time. We had booked a 5 night stay at the Saville Park Suites, an apartment hotel (kitchen, washing facilities etc), about a 10 minute walk to the center of Perth.
Thursday 2nd November:
We made an early start to travel to Hilary's Boat Harbour, about 20km north of Perth, to join a whale watching boat trip. Gill was hoping to see her favourite whale the Humpback, which at this time of year are migrating from the breeding grounds on the Kimberly coast of WA down to the Antartic waters for feeding. About an hour in to the trip and there was a frenzy of excitment on the boat as a whale was spotted about 50 yards away from the boat. I dashed up onto my feet, camera in hand, just in time to see a humpback whale blowing and diving back down under the water. Gill was ecstatic! The skipper reckoned that when moving the whales only usually stay down for 5-10 minutes (they can stay down for 45 mins) so I moved up to the front of the boat waiting for it to surface. Disappointingly it decided that it was going to play hide and seek with us. We moved off and spotted another humpack but alot further away. By the time we got to the area it had done another disappearing act. Unfortunately that was it. I never did get a picture. I guess we shouldn't expect them to perform for us being wild animals. Gill was still happy to have seen them.
Friday 3rd November
Another early start this time taking a boat down the Swan river, past all the millionaire river side homes to Freemantle, and from there out to Rottnest island. We had bikes ready for us to cycle round the island, which has no cars. It was another cloudless day, 29c, and we found an unbelievably picturesque beach, practically empty. Out came the sun cream, on went the swimming trunks, even Gill got into her swimming costume. I had a swim in the Indian ocean, while Gill paddled, all the time looking out for sharks and jellyfish! We continued our cycle ride round the lovely island, and managed to spot its famous local inhabitants, the quokka! Another great day, and we've still got 17 weeks to go!