I’ve been a bad boy. Today we left Perth and began the next leg of our journey – the long haul up the west coast – and I’ve written not a single word about the million and one things we’ve seen and done in the preceding 5 weeks. So now, I have some fast talking to do.
The south west corner – what to say then that doesn’t have the sound of a litany? How about: The region has been named by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 places in the world to visit. That’s true. And a reasonable start, wouldn’t you say?
Then I could add: It is also one of the top 25 hotspots for biological diversity on Earth. And that’s a fact. Then, just to impress you (as if you’re not impressed already! right?) I could throw in: Of the 11,000 plant species in Western Australia, 75% can be found in this region. Another fact, but now I’m dancing with platitude, dicing with literary death, so I’ll get going before I lose you.
The highlights? Okay, but only because you asked.
Pemberton, a quaint little town in the heart of the tall timber country, was one of them. The place has a nice feel and we came away with fond memories of our stay. Karri is the predominant eucalypt there and these trees are huge. I don’t mean just one or two of them. They’re all big, really big. Words pay poor homage to the majesty of these giants and you need to stand beneath them to properly appreciate their size. They redefined my concept of what a forest is.
The Margaret River area was also very interesting and we spent a week or so exploring the coastal strip from Cape Leeuwin – where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean – north to Cape Naturaliste and Geographe Bay. I lived in this area, once upon a time, and there is little that hasn’t changed beyond recognition in the 30 years since.
Easter was upon us by the time we moved on from MR and we needed somewhere to hunker down. We concealed ourselves in bushland on the Leschenault Peninsula, just north of Bunbury, hoping to escape the holiday madness (follow this link to see the Easter post A Queer Creature) but we knew we had been found out when campers arrived in droves to shatter the tranquillity of an otherwise peaceful place. Nevertheless, we survived all that and moved on to Perth.
Perth was fantastic and is now one of my favourite cities. We used the public transport system while there and agreed it is the equal of any we’ve seen, both in China and Europe. Our best outing in Perth: A ferry ride to Fremantle, with fish and chips on the waterfront then home on the train. It mightn’t sound like much, but it was a very full day and we had a ball. Fremantle is a very lively place. In all, we spent four days there (Perth) and left feeling like we had made contact in a very real way.