Thailand was great, really different. But probably just a bit tooo different. I don't think I was really ready for it. I had intended to travel to the southern islands but after one hair-raising (even when you havn't got any) bus trip to Pattya I decided I didn't fancy the full 12 hour version. Distances are big here and bus seats are hard and sweaty.
So decided to forgo the brave traveller thing and head off to Oz. Ellie had just moved to Perth and I fancied joining up with her sooner rather than later. I had originally booked to go to Darwin then do an overlander to Cairns, taking in some desert and rainforest stuff. But Darwin is even hotter and sweatier than Bangkok. Perth is a lovely 25C with lively cool breezes and the prospect of comfy nights sleep.
The breezes turned out to be a bit too lively as the plane was coming in to land at Perth. There was a howling gale and the plane was dipping and bucking big time on the approach. White knuckles were much in evidence as we got to lamp post levels. I couldnt see how we would get down it was moving so violently. I must have passed that thought to the pilot as he decided to abort. It was full throttle and back into the sky like a space shuttle. Round again and this time the rosary beads were out, the guardian angels, any divine intervention you could think of. The German lad next to me had turned albino, there were lunches hitting paper bags all round. Don't you just love that smell. It was still like being at Alton Towers but somehow he got it down with just a few swerves and bumps. Big round of applause and pass the wet wipes.
Aussie Immigration were nice as pie, you don't often get these guys smiling and asking you how you are. It was an interesting introduction to the local lingo as the Aussie family in front of me in the queue for Quaranteen were belly aching about having to wait. They jumped the queue and got knocked back and you should have heard the expletives, 'facking little short man, fackin jobsworth' the tirade went on an on, and that was just the mother. It was almost like being back in Birkenhead (no shell suits seen though). They are really strict on bringing stuff in. You can't even have shit on your shoes ;-) I fully expected to be plunged into a sheep dip.
The taxi driver left off where the family finished. Fack this, fack that, fack the other... Seems everyone swears like a trooper down under, even on TV. I feel quite at home really.
I got settled in a Backpacker hostel in Fremantle (which is like Chester is to Birkenhead, distance wise) called The Old Firestation... more later