Sunday, 23 January 2011

Perth to Ayres Rock 22nd Jan

Happy Birthday Ann.
Sat here at the Domestic Airport (T2) which is several km from the International Airport (T1). We have about an hour before our flight takes off. They have a very modern check in system here……… no one on check in at all, just terminals everywhere and the occasional helper to sort plebs such as us.  She told us that Sydney will be the same, so we learnt the process to use later on. She also told us to have the camera ready when we land as the best view of the rock is from the airport.
Some things that we noticed about Perth.
It never rains……… Oh yes it did, and everyone was talking about it.  Only a few drops actually and not enough to wet the paths.
The town names are all much the same as the UK.  Welshpool, Exmouth, Ascot, Wembley and of course Perth itself. I suppose the Brits named the towns after the ones they had left. This can be a bit confusing when talking about people’s addresses, you never know whether they live in the UK or a Perth suburb.
The ocean and river are never far away and makes for a really great place to live. Also people buy houses here to knock down and rebuild much more so than they would in the UK or Spain. It’s the plot that is all important. Also there does not seem to be too much interference from the planning people and houses of all shapes and sizes live next to each other, often by only centimetres. It is not uncommon to buy a plot with an old bungalow on it and fit two or three new builds into the space.
Termites are a major hazard here and they can destroy the softwood within a house in a few months. New builds have to have anti-termite barriers built into the foundations and to get your house insured you have to have a termite inspection annually.
The city is very people friendly, with wide pavements and lots of green spaces everywhere. Having the river there and the lovely Kings Park also make it feel very peaceful and civilised.
There are loads of eating out places around the city which has virtually no unemployment and a very well paid workforce, with lots of disposable income. They eat out a lot, but unfortunately this has led to some of the worst service reputations imaginable, as we found out when we took our hosts Debbie, Todd and Jo, Deb’s sister, out for a meal.
As we flew out we had great views of the city, though through two layers of airplane window Plexiglas does not help the little camera. On the outskirts of the city we passed over a mine of some sort.  A great hole in the ground that could probably not be seen from ground level. We also passed over what first looked like a lake, but on closer inspection we found it had a dam, so must be some sort of reservoir.  For some time we were passing over what appeared to be salt lakes, some much bigger than others.  Some were being “farmed” and later others showed no sign of human activity at all. In fact it was quite some time before we left human intervention in the desert landscape. Roads, railways and fences were evident along with the occasional homestead for at least an hour’s flight time.  As we descended into Ayres Rock resort, we could clearly see the Olgas, with the rock proper behind. The lady at Perth was right, but once on the ground we had to wait for or bus transfer before we could get another glimpse. Photos here

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