We landed in Australia safe and sound. Passport control was a fraction of the time that the Malaysian one was so it was a huge relief.
Having watched all the Border Patrol programs based in Oz, Stef was concerned about some mud that we had on our trainers from a Trek back in Thailand so we ticked a box. Once we got to the customs section, we got pulled to one side by the officials. Here we go I thought, we’re both going to be put in separate rooms and grilled about why we were there. Well done, Stef!
But luckily, there were no TV cameras filming us and all that we had to do was stand in line and let a sniffer dog walk around us. Why do you panic when the dog is around you even though you know for a fact that you don’t have anything dodgy on you?
It was a pleasant experience. Everyone was talking English – be it with an Ozzie twang but it was nice to hear it after spending so long in Asia and not understanding so many people.
It was about 6am when we left the airport. There was a bright blue sky and absolutely no clouds. It was so sunny and there definitely was no need for our fleeces that we’d worn in Vietnam! We jumped in a cab and made our way to our next, and last for a while, hotel. It was the Ibis Styles in Perth. We were used to hotels costing about £15 for a lovely hotel for the night that included a free breakfast and fast Wi-Fi. This hotel wanted £15 for the Wi-Fi alone! We could tell from this moment that Australia was definitely going to be a shock for us in the wallet side of things!
It was too early to check in but the staff sorted it so that we could check in a few hours earlier. Having been travelling for about 26 hours, we were absolutely knackered, but I was relieved that we were now in a English speaking place so I was happy. We started to walk into Perth town centre to get some brekky. We couldn’t help but notice all the shops around our hotel were looking very familiar. I’d only gone and booked a hotel in the Asian section of Perth! Everywhere you looked, there was some Vietnamese shop or restaurant! Asia was following us and we couldn’t get away! A short walk later and we had saw some better familiar sights. A Nandos, Jamie’s Italian, a Vodafone shop and cars driving on the left hand side of the road. It felt like a home away from home, however, it wasn’t flooding here!
We settled down at a café and had breakfast. I’m not going to go on about prices any more, but I felt like I had to re-mortgage the flat to buy it! Compared to the UK, it was normal, but we could have bought meals for a week in Cambodia for the same price!
We sat there for a while watching all the men and women walk to work. It was like sitting outside a café at London Bridge. Everyone was smart looking but unlike the Brits, none of them looked in a rush. I didn’t see anyone barge, argue or swear at another. We sat there for a bit longer and took advantage of Perth’s free WI-FI in the high street. With our stomachs full, we walked around the high street seeing what they had to offer. Naturally, Stef had to go and visit one of her company’s stores. It wasn’t open so I didn’t have to wander around bored while she inspected, I mean looked, around.
We returned to the hotel about 11am and had a little nap.
That night, we decided to go to Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant. It was going to be our last meal in nearly 3 months that wasn’t cooked in a camper van so we treated ourselves. When we got there it was absolutely rammed. We had to wait for an hour to be seated. But we managed to drink a bottle of wine and the “worlds best” olives whilst we waited. Everywhere restaurant we had gone to in Asia, the owner claimed they served the “worlds best”. As trusting people, we both used to order what ever they were selling only to be greatly disappointed. But, this was Jamie Oliver. Would he lie to us? He’s named after an Olive so surely he’d know an olive when he sees/tastes one! He never lied – They were the best olives I have ever experienced. My faith in mankind had been restored. For mains, I had some turkey thing, which was as flat as a piece of paper and Stef had some squid ink pasta. The meals were nice and tasty but nothing special. For desert, I had my eye on a chocolate brownie, but it came with a nutty liqueur ice cream and sauce. I told a cheeky lie and said I had a nut allergy. I requested different ice cream and honeycomb toppings (which were extra) instead because of my “condition”. They obliged and for no extra cost. Sweet. People with allergies have it so easy.
Slightly intoxicated, we wondered back to the room. The travelling caught up with us and knocked us both out for the night.