We have spent most of the last week in and around Perth, catching up with friends and revisiting some of Geoff’s childhood haunts. Wayne & Helen took us to the Araluen Botanical Gardens in the Darling Range. The gardens are beautiful and peaceful
and, as we ate on the verandah of the tea house, we were showered with wisteria blossom. From there we went to Kalamunda and had a drink at the pub which was built by Wayne’s great-grandfather and which is, reputedly, haunted. Helen only had coffee so that she could safely navigate the zig-zag which is rather hairy road which should have afforded wide views of Perth but visibility wasn’t great.
After 5 nights in Fremantle we moved to a different caravan park in Karrinyup, which is NW of the city. On the way over we had lunch on Cottesloe Beach and visited 50 Kathleen St, Swanbourne, where the Ravenscrofts lived in the 50s. For Geoff and his brothers it was barefoot to school and lots of time at the beach. An idyllic WA childhood.
We made a second trip into the hills with Keith and Sue and stopped in Toodyay for lunch at a cafe which is decorated to the max with a 50-yr old collection of Coca Cola memorabilia. We had Coke spiders to honour the occasion and almost exploded! Had a lovely home-
cooked meal in the evening with Wayne and Helen. It was a treat because most of our eating-out experiences have been expensive disappointments.
We had a rained-in day when we went to the movies (‘Gone Girl’ – not great), and we spent our final day revisiting the Perth CBD and exploring Kings Park, which is just fabulous. John Forrest, who became premier of WA in1890, was the acknowledged driving force behind the development of the 175 ha of public park. His vision was that 1000 yrs hence, people would be able to see this area as it appeared to the first explorers. The views of Perth city and the Swan River are spectacular and the Botanical Gardens are gorgeous. We had such a lovely day.
We travelled from Karrinyup to Dallwallinu, via New Norcia, and we are overnighting at Carnamah. We have seen some lovely flowers today and crossed the line of the Rabbit-Proof Fence. An unexpected bonus has been the most amazing, absolutely clear and unobstructed, view of the lunnar eclipse in all its phases. We can’t believe how lucky we are to be here at the right time under such perfect conditions.