Saturday, June 7, 2008

Australian Outback

We started the day early at 7.45. The bus came late and we were all waiting in the freezing cold. We had to pay an additional $20 for diesel tax. At about 8, the bus left Perth.

First stop was the town of York. Nothing much there except for some really run down buildings. I did find a very good second hand book shop which sold The Education of Desire: Marxists and the Writing of History, by Harvey J. Kaye, for just $15 bucks. Amazon selling it for US$161.60. Hah hah hah...

We then went to visit a really funny dog cemetery. Found many funny headstones there: Cindy, Bobby, etc, etc... Took some pictures and will put it up once I reach Singapore and can find the time. I'm afraid once I reach our tiny island, it'll be work, work, work!

Just before wave rock, we went to have this awful lunch at this pretty place. My son touched an electric fence and got the shock of his life. That was something he'll not forget.

When we finally reached wave rock, it was magnificent! I climbed all the way up to the highest point. Met some irritating Singaporeans who insisted that I should drive round Australia. I really felt like shouting, I DO NOT WANT TO!!! Instead, as usual, I let my charming charismatic self handle the situation.

Anyway, the Wave Rock is composed of good ol' granite with a beautiful pinkish tinge. Its rounded wave-like shape was formed by weathering and water erosion and most likely, according to our guide that the weathering started below ground level before it was exposed. I think it was an underground river exposed. Will check with Prof Teh on this.

We alos visited the Hippo's Yawn, a cave that resembles a yawning hippo. I don't think that there are hippos in Australia. Most probably a name given by the, what Thanjit calls them, the tall ang mohs. Anyway, the aborigines used to give birth to their babies in this cave, far away from their men.

We also visited Mulka's Cave, 18 kilometres north of Wave Rock. We saw some well preserved examples of Aboriginal art and hand outlines. Mulka is this guy who's mother had an affair with another guy from another tribe and ended up growing taller than the rest and ate babies as a hobby and got killed. Makes no sense to me actually...

We then headed back to Perth before eating some outback cakes made by two very old aussies. Pictures later.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Today, we went to this town south of Perth called Manjusri... er no, I mean, Mandurah, and once again by their train. The bus servise was once again free from the station to the front shore. We ate fish and chips at this restaurant and then went for a boat cruise where we gazed at the homes of australia's filthy rich. What was really exciting was when we saw some dolphins right by the boat that we were in and several times too! After that, we went to this 7-day market which really had nothing much.

Came back to Perth, again by train and ate some asian food at this restaurant called Ole-Ole, but not before going shopping at Woolworths.

Tomorrow, we're going into the Australian outback! I think the waverock is going to be more interesting than Mandurah. The Wave on Hyden Rock is one of Australia's most famous landforms, which looks very much like a giant surf wave of multicoloured granite. It is estimated to be over 2,700 million years ago, and has been there even before dinosaurs roamed the earth!

Orchard Glory Farm

We went to the Orchard Glory farm today, slightly more than an hour's drive from Criterion Hotel where we stayed. The rooms are cool! We fed the horses, the goats, the rabbits, the pheasants and the Llamas.

But the coolest thing we did was to bottle some real wine! I got to bring two bottles home, the ones my son and daughter bottled. That's going to raise some of my friends when they visit.

Anyway, the nights are super cold! I ended up spending most of my time surfing Australian TV channels infront of the fire place munching some Doritos and dipping them in some Doritos dip. I must have burned some three logs of wood.

The owner of the farm was from Singapore and he was kind enough to bring us to the Bindoon Town, which was really just a few shop houses, for some tidbits shopping. The town people were very friendly but I can't help but to be reminded of some ulu kampong in Malaysia. Instead of some pakciks, makciks and apeks, its all filled with ang mohs.

The next day, we went back to Perth Town and the driver, yet another ex-Singaporean, brought us to his restaurant and we ate some authentic Singaporean dishes. He was also trying to convince us to become Australians and keep comparing why the life in Oz is better than in the Lion City.

Of many of his arguments, many of which is interesting, he said that the government here has more heart. The bus service in Perth CBD is free. Parking is also free. The poor must be allowed travel and work, he said.


After that, we went to Kings Park, a beautiful place. Most importantly is that I found out from this trip to the park is that the Perth people were very friendly and kind. Whenever we looked lost, they would offer us help and pointed to us directions. It's a shame thought to see such a nice place full of graffiti.

But yes Thanjit, the best thing about Perth is still the eggs! They taste different.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 1 - Australia

I'm in Perth now. Yesterday, we went to this town called fremantle. The weather is nice and cool. The trains here are quite cheap too. about 18 oz bucks for an all day pass for a whole family to go anywhere.

We went to The Round House, the oldest remaining building in Western Australia, and explored the rest of Fremantle ourselves by walking. We went to the esplanade, basically a big field where kids play under some really huge trees and picnic people feed huge seagulls.

We went to the Fremantle Prison too. It is one of Western Australia’s cultural heritage sites. Imagine a prison as a heritage site! We in Singapore on the other hand, destroyed our old Changi in the name of development.

The EShed market is kinda boring and I think the Chatuchak market inThailand has more variety. In fact the stuff sold there really looks like as if there were from Chatuchak. Same goes for the Fremantle Village Art Markets.

What I really like about Perth, are the boiled eggs. They taste different.

It looks like the people in Fremantle and Perth are very relaxed and laid-back.

The queues in their Macdonalds are always super long yesterday and people are all walking very slowly. Maybe it is still their public holiday for yesterday was some Foundation Day or something...

Maybe today would be different. We'll just have to wait and see...