When we awoke this morning, although we wanted to get our teeth straight away into seeing our latest country we also needed to run a few errands first and stock up on some urgently needed supplies and other such ‘stuff’. We needed to get an additional adaptor for our worldwide plug adaptor which for some unknown reason failed to include the tiny island of Australia on its many interfaces! We also wanted to grab a few touristy leaflets for the area in order to work out what we could do whilst here.
Meg was up for giving us a lift into town in her restored automobile and it was not only a nice ride but the motor really fitted in well with the vibe of the town. Fremantle looked even better in the cold (hot?) light of day and the area near to the town centre is really great, looking all rustic and full of coffee shops and nice looking (but expensive looking?) eateries. It also looked like a really chilled place too and luckily for us today it was not overly busy. Once here, Liz did a bit of clothes shopping and with a little encouragement from Sue even managed to buy some clothes that she actually liked which is always a bit of a plus. These rash purchases must have been due to female encouragement which is not something I can admit to being particularly good at.
The more we spoke to Sue, the more we found out just how patriotic she is and how in particular she just loves this Western side of Australia. Funnily enough when we started looking at taking this huge adventure, the West coast was something that I had originally envisaged us doing but the more I looked into it the more it started to seem just too expensive to travel the entire length and breadth of this vast country. So the more I spoke to Sue and the family the more I wanted to know if there was an affordable way for us to really make it happen. If only our travelling depended upon Sue’s enthusiasm alone we probably could have gone anywhere … lol.
In the afternoon we ALL, well I say all as even Molly the dog joined us in the car but Mitch who seems to be the lowest in the Stewart pecking order (lol) was not invited on our bit of a trip out in the Stewart-mobile exploring the area. Mind you Mitch is quite well built so I don’t think he would have fit in the car. We had a tour round Freo first where they showed us the main sights and helped us to get a handle on all of the major locations in the town, as well as where Lucy and Meg go to college and other little local gems. It looks to be a great place to explore and we are looking forward to getting out and doing it justice.
We then took a bit of a drive up the coast stopping at a couple of points along the way before heading back to the city where we had flown in, Perth and to King’s Park a place they really like and we soon understood why. I am sure it would have been very nice to see all of the park but we ended up just being able to see the panorama from the highest viewpoints from the car as the place was packed and there was nowhere to park. Anyhow that did not stop us, Neil bought us all an ice cream and possibly picked up a speeding ticket on the way home as well but it did not seem to phase him out any!
Once we got back it turned out that there was a bit of a barbie in the offing and it turned out that this was not just a girl’s plastic toy either, this was the real thing, full of testosterone and us guys and gals all bonding – Bonza eh! In my humble opinion too, Neil really knows how to BBQ, he can barbecue anything. On tonight’s menu was Octopus, Squid and Snapper, so food-wise we were all set up. The Snapper was one he had caught too making it even better – everyone knows that food you catch, therefore tantamount to being ‘free’ is always far better than any food you buy, I once caught a loaf of bread in one of my jungle traps in Malaysia and it tasted delicious!!
Also invited to the barbecue were Steve and Kim, friends of Sue and Neil’s. Steve had actually been born in England at a place called Beverley just across the River Humber from where we live and his Mother had been born in Preston, where I was born – spooky and strange eh? Steve also used to be a trucker and Neil used to travel in his younger days so between them they started telling us yarns about all the good stuff we could see if we did take our chances and drove. It all sounded really great as they told us about sleeping under the stars in a ‘swag’ (whatever that was) and the simple pleasure of eating outdoors, the whole thing sounded just too good to miss but would we be able do it? They had all definitely given us more than just food at this BBQ we also had a good helping of food for thought as well as a side salad of gumption and a desert of thinkingness – by golly! Besides all of the drinking and bon homie one thing deserves special note and it was one of those things which on our travels I had heard rumours of but had never really believed – The Australian Beer Fridge, a fridge just for beer no other ingredients or anything else to sully it, just beery beery goodness – it was truly a thing of wonder to behold and I could almost see the halo hanging around it. Cor blimey these Aussies have it all they really do … sniff …. sniff …. whimper!