Monday, January 28, 2013

Perth Darul Awesome Trip - Day 8 & 9

I'm gonna wrap Day 8 and 9 in one go, because to be frank, nothing much to write about it.

Day 8
Woke up late, checkout at 11, and then we went straight to the destination, Harbour Town. The original plan was to shop till us drop. And since we have known that Harbour Town is the best place to do that, we gonna spend the whole evening there.

We arrived at 12 noon, and waited not even a second. The last time we were here we were tired, but not this time. We were fully energized, especially my wife, you can literally see blinking stars coming out off her eyes.

So we started by making a huge round around the mall, stopped for a while, had kebab for lunch, and then continued again.

Levi's here is literally cheap. You can get a pair of jeans for AUD50, so I bought 2 plus a T-shirt. My wife got a pair of nice Nine West's shoes for AUD60, but then we got a discount so we paid AUD35 for it. Nice.

And if you are looking for perfume, then you come to the right place. It is cheap, hence we ended up buying 9 bottles of it. 9 bottles of perfumes, can you imagine that. Of course we gonna give some of it away as a gift, but 9 bottles? I must be crazy.

Others, we bought some T-shirts, goodies and gifts to be given as a present.

Damage. And that is not all of it (T_T)

Damage? AUD1000 in one day, excluding those we swiped using credit cards. My God. What my wife has turn me into?

We stopped doing that thing at 5pm, and that is because the shops were closing. 5 hours! I hardly remembered the last time we shopped for 5 hours straight.

Next stop, Reduan's house. We gonna spend the night at his house, Mas (Reduan's wife) informed us she gonna prepare some dinner. Finally, some real meal! By this time I was sicked of fish and chips already.

Day 9
The last day. Woke up to a lovely breakfast prepared by Mas. Today plans, well, we got no firm plan yet, but wife wanted to buy something for her sister, so we went to Belmont because they got this big shopping mall there. But I tell you, their shopping mall is nothing compared to us. Their biggest shopping mall is like 2/3 the size of MidValley, and they got only one floor.

So we went to Belmont Forum Shopping Centre and looked for the thing that my wife was looking. And then we stopped by a souvenir shop, tried to look for anything cheap that can be used as a gift. Before we left we bought a whole grilled chicken from Nando's, thinking to bring it and have a picnic style lunch at King's Park.

Arrived around 2 pm. The weather was just right. It was a little bit chilly but also sunny at the same time. Set up our place under a tree and had our lunch while enjoying the view.

The usual thing that you will see when you go to a park. Some people are jogging, some bring their family and children to play around, some bring the dog for a walk, some old couple walking side by side while holding hands. Usual stuffs.

What baffled me the most is you can hardly see a stray animal around. In fact, I have seen none. Not a stray cat, dog, or even a kangaroo. Heard some people said stray kangaroos are all around in Aussie. But maybe I was in the wrong part of Aussie.

A couple of ducks trying to steal our food!

At 3 pm we moved on to our next location. But we got no where else to go, so we ended up sight seeing around the town.

Perth Bell Tower. Home of the Swan Bell. We did not enter, gonna cost you AUD22 if you want to.

By 5 pm we headed back to Reduan's house. Had to prepare, pack all things for our flight tomorrow morning. The flight is at 6:00 am so we need to be at the airport 2 hours before.

Took a nap, woke up at 1:30 am, bid farewell to Reduan's family and drove straight to the airport. Had to return the car back, and the process was easy. There were some allocated parking lot for the rental cars, and keys drop point where you can just drop and leave the key.

1523.7km. The was how far we drove around Perth in 9 days. Well I could say it is worth the penny.

Checked in early, made a last minute shop to finish up our Aussie dollars, and the rest is as usual. Boarded the plane and had a pleasant flight.

End of the Journey.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Perth Darul Awesome Trip - Day 7

We started the day a little bit late. Actually we were ran out of clean clothes, need to do some laundry before we move. It was freezing, the temperature now has dropped to 2 degree C.

The whole process of doing the laundry took us more than 1 hour. Then we started our journey at around 10 am. The plan was to go up to more than 200 km to the north with possible 2 stops, the first one is Lancelin Sand Dunes, where people get to play sand boarding here, before continue our journey to the next spot,  Pinnacles Desert near Cervantes.

The journey is about 120km and will took around 1 and a half hour. The weather was lovely, and the whole journey was, how do I put this, was scenic. A vast scene of meadows on the left and right of the road, as far as the eyes can see. Its all green, with the sun shines bright over the grass and the blue sky as the background, for a moment I thought the time stopped for a while.

Ok maybe I somewhat oversell there, but it was beautiful.

Stopped by at an RnR, found out it actually is a caravan camps. Complete with water supply and sewage treatment.

Caravan camp. Love to do this one day.

The sewage treatment

Then we continued our journey to Lancelin. Should be there by noon.

You can actually see a lot of these signs the whole journey. But I didn't bump into any. So I bragged a little, "where the hell are all these kangaroos?"  

Makes me wonder, how the hell did they maintain the grass? 

And by noon we arrived at Lancelin Town. A very small town, with few shops, and hardly can find people around. Nothing interesting here except people coming to experience the sand dune.

Migrate to this ghost town? Maybe I will!

So if you want to experience sand boarding, look for a shop that name Lucky7, just few meters away from the town center. It rent the board for AUD10 dollar per hour. But you will have to put a AUD50 deposit that will be returned once you return the board.

The shop

We were greeted by a woman in her 30s who own the shop, very friendly, and suggested that we picked the board with no foot strap, since we were beginners.

And then, off we go to the sand dune!

Well, I've never been to a desert before. Surprisingly it wasn't hot at all, maybe because of the winter. There were some people who were riding ATV and scrambler bikes. We headed to the place reserved for snowboarding.

Other people with the ATVs and Scrambler bikes. 

Me on the go.

She was pretty excited about this.

Cameraman POV. Must have been watching porn too much.

The sandboarder pose.

Didn't take us long before we got tired. By the fourth time I went up the hill, I was already exhausted. So we spent around 40 minutes before decided to head back to the town. 

On the way back to the town, we stopped by the beach nearby. Well, it wasn't that great. Saw nobody around, maybe because of the cold weather. 

We then headed back to the shop to return the board, and continued our journey to the Pinnacles Desert. 

Had to drive for another 80km, and we took the Indian Ocean Drive which was newly constructed. Great view the whole journey. Vast of grassland with ocean view at the end.

Great view. 

Arrived at the Pinnacles Desert at around 3 pm.

Hmm it must be killing you guys what the hell the Pinnacles Desert is. Well, to put it in words, Pinnacles Desert is a place where a vast area of yellow sand dunes which were formed by thousands of yellow, eerie looked limestone pillars.

Paid AUD11 per person for the entrance, we got two choices to move around the desert, the first one is a 2 km track by walk, and the other one is 4 km track by car. And of course, we chose the later. We are Malaysian indeed.

Eerie looking limestone pillars.

The authority used some smaller stones to form a pathway for cars, so that the drivers will not go beyond the pathway and ruin the pillars. But they prepared some spots where you can stop and get out from the car so that you can enjoy the view.

Somehow it surprised us the desert wasn't hot at all. Maybe because of the winter. The temperature is around 15 Celsius although we are few hundred kilometers up to the north at that time. And the desert is quiet. Eerily quiet. Not even a sound of birds quirking. In fact, I did not see any birds nor any animals around. Scary.

Awesome view.

The whole journey around the desert took us around 1 hour. After that we headed to the museum and gallery, and maybe will get some souvenirs perhaps. 

The entrance to the gallery.

Not so many interesting things. Well, it is a gallery. What do you expect?

And that supposed to be the end of our journey to the north. Our initial plan was to have dinner at Cervantes and then headed back to Perth via Brand Highway. But didn't I mention to you before the destination-isn't-matter-it-is-the-journey-that-matter shit is a lie? Well, maybe I take it back. Because unbeknownst to us, our journey has just started. 

We continued our journey to Cervantes. Had to drive for another 20km before we reached the destination.

Cervantes is a very small town. Hardly to see anybody or any cars around, I saw a kid playing basketball in the middle of the road, alone! I mean literally!

We had fish and chips in a nearby restaurant. Wasn't that great.

See that, That is all their town.

After that, the long journey back to Perth City started. Planned to take the Brand Highway, which happened is a big mistake. Should have taken the Ocean Drive which is much shorter in distance.

Well, I got my own reason to choose Brand Highway. First of all I thought we can stop by at the Emu Down Wind Farm. It is a windmill farm that produces electricity for Western Australia. But I forgot the night came earlier during the winter. By the time we moved at 5 pm, it was already dark.

And second of all I thought Brand Highway is like our own highway, well lighted, 4 lanes, have proper RnR and got a lot of cars around. But this is Western Australia, there is not so many people living here, hence building a highway like ours is just doesn't feasible.

Had to drive for 50km to reach Brand Highway. And along the road, there is nobody but us. A little bit scary, we even lost our signal on the phone. By I tried to remain calm or it might triggered a panic attack to my wife.And the worst thing is, I almost hit a crossing kangaroo! It was so fast but thank God I managed to hit the brake. Me and my big mouth. Did I mentioned before I bragged a little about not seeing any crossing kangaroos? Now I wish I can take it back. And I should have known about this, I read a lot and found out it is wise to be careful to drive at night because the kangaroos are attracted to lights.

While on the road, we managed to see the huge farm of windmills that we talked about just now. Didn't manage to take any picture though, and didn't stop by too, it was too dark. We figured it is the best if we just continue with our journey.

50km drove through Seville St, and we managed to reach Brand Highway. But it wasn't like what I thought. Brand Highway is just a 2 lanes freeway, no RnR, not even a street light, and no cars around. Now I realized it was a big mistake to take the Brand Highway. But turning back to Ocean Drive is not an option, we have drove for 50km so the best option is to just go with Brand.

We then proceed with Brand Highway. 160km to go before reaching a junction to Joondalup. A few kilometers ahead my wife suddenly talked about what happen if we had to pee? I thought she was joking but it turned out she couldn't hold it any longer. I saw a place by the side of the road where you can stop the car, so I took it, and in the middle of nowhere with the darkness of the night, my wife, the champion, took a leak. Something even I hadn't done. I salute. And I stood by her, just in case if some kangaroos decided to jump out from bushes and attack us. Yes, I had that in mind.

Few minutes later we were back on the road. I saw a truck tried to take over so I let it through, and then I followed it the whole way to Joondalup. Felt much safer this way, just in case if there is a kangaroo decided to cross the road, at least the truck will hit it first.

Nevertheless after more than 2 hours of driving, we reached Joondalup with a big relief. Joondalup is a big town, and the most important thing is the streets have lights! Not that scary now. From Joondalup we need to drive for another 30km to reach our hotel.

We safely reached the hotel at around 8:30pm. But somehow it felt like it was midnight already. My wife told me she didn't want any experience like that ever again. But one think for sure, I cannot promise her that!

End of Day 7