Today it was going to be a day out with the Stewarts and one just involving ourselves, Neil and Sue, they were going to take us to a place called Mandurah which is about an hour South of Fremantle. Lucy and Meg were off to a music festival so it was just the grown ups, so let the games begin … lol! It was another lovely day, nice and hot with a very blue sky, something these Aussies seem to feel very much at home with, lucky them.
The hour’s drive down to Neil and Sue’s second home was a nice enough run out and Mandurah itself was a beautiful if expensive looking little town but it seemed that everyone here seemed to be in the water, on the water or even just drinking water! Here like back in Freo most of the properties are flat and bungalow-like on quite large pieces of land so it seems like everyone has loads of space which is great as everyone also seems to own a boat and needs somewhere to put it. Back home Me and Liz live in a terraced house not unlike a large proportion of the UK population so our streets have houses built right next to each other door-to-door quite cramped, it is such a contrast here everything seems so much more spacious.
Upon arriving in the town, we first went to see their ‘holiday home’ but to us this was more of a palace and looked the ideal place to relax and chill, even here Neil had done a lot to the place and it was a great second home. Once again Neil’s furniture looked top notch. We had some more persuasive discussions about possible routes both up and down the Western coastline and then we all felt a bit hungry, so we popped round to the local pie shop where I had a very nice pie – Bacon and Steak, a classic combination. Now I must admit to being quite a SE Asian food convert BUT isn’t there something nice and comforting about scoffing a pie … mmmm Pi R Squared indeed! The deliciousness of the pie worked its wonders and also meant that we now had enough energy for some exercise!
Our hosts asked us if we fancied a spot of paddle boarding in the sea and when they explained it to us, it certainly all sounded easy enough – you simply stand on a board and paddle yourself along, what could be easier! I suppose there was a clue was in the name of the sport, Stand Up Paddle-boarding!
I actually got into it quite quickly possibly because I had the more stable yellow board which is slightly bigger than the more racy blue board the one which Liz kept falling off. So we swapped boards and I was not so bad on that one either. It was more of a question of following Neil’s coaching tips, so I kept telling Liz … lol!
The sand, the sea and the weather were great but just the slightest ripple and off we would fall. The water was so clear you could see the fish swimming along and I swear one or two were even laughing! Anyhow although we both found it quite difficult we kept on giving it a go which seemed to be entertaining Sue and Neil quite a bit. They were on hand to take photos normally depicting our various stages of falling off the board but there were a couple when we were upright .
After our exertions we went to meet Sue’s mum who is a great lady and a great traveller too as she is soon to be off on a cruise, which she was doing at the same time as moving house, poor woman. This would be stressful enough for anyone but she is eighty so the utmost respect to her!
Then we returned back to Sue and Neil’s for another impromptu BBQ where we had some excellent steaks and sausages with salad, accompanied by a few beers and lots of chatter and laughter – Sue and Liz were putting the World to rights and at the same time re-writing the Hughes’ (our) travel plans.
The energy they were expending was enough to power the local grid. Then Neil cranked things up a bit by offering us some Black Sambuca to drink which was far too nice and smooth, so as seems to happen in these kinds of situations we ended up drinking the entire bottle!
Well although I say ‘drink the entire bottle’, Liz did her best to throw her drink all over the place knocking it over three times before finally consuming it! I cannot stress enough just what a great couple Sue and Neil are, not only to take us in but to be so very hospitable and so very forgiving too!