Saturday, December 10, 2011

Australia Adventures - Part 3 - Western Australia

Vacations are Good.

Traveling is Blissful.

Disconnecting is Sweet.

Surprise-surprise!  Who knew that one of the things that I would enjoy most about traveling would be NOT spending any time on the computer?  I really had thought that during my travels, I would have more free time, more leisure time and therefore more time to spend on the computer. 

Clearly, this has not been the case.  I've been periodically checking e-mails and facebook, but I have been enjoying living in the moment.  It's been Grand.  Who wants to spend time sitting at the computer when it's gorgeous outside?  When there's things to see and do?  I also have a talent for turning my brain off and I'll admit, that I've thrived on living in the bubble that is Traveling.  As much as I love getting out and doing stuff, I also enjoy this thing called Relaxing.  Relaxing is Gooooood.  So, with only 5 more days in Australia - I thought I would re-connect with y'all.

I know you've missed Me.

Hi!  I'm back to the real world in 5 more days.  But until I fly out of here on Wednesday, I've got a few more runs to enjoy in the sunshine, another novel to finish and some beach time in Perth.  I think we're done with the traveling, so we'll focus on the relaxing.

Nicki, Keith and I coping with the Flies.

Thanks to our friend Nicki, our time in Western Australia has been easy, relaxing and fun.  Keith and I are fully smitten with this corner of Australia, this vast and amazing place where people are proud of where they are from.  Western Australia is a country within itself, a world away from the rest of the country, another planet.  With an area of more than 2, 500 000 sq km, a 12, 500 km coastline and spanning 2, 400km from north to south, it occupies a third of the continent.  I'm looking forward to a return visit already, so I can see more of it. 

Hiking the Dunes near Yellingup

Nicki, a woman of many hairstyles and talents.

In our 3 months in Australia, there surprisingly hasn't been a ton of time on the beach.  Be it that we are lovers of the mountains and the road trip, we've spent a lot of time in the hills and on the road.  In Perth, we finally discovered the joys of The Beach.  From Nicki's house, you've got your choice of amazing beaches.  Scarbourough Beach is an easy run, Floreat Beach and City Beach are just a bit further and within less that 10 minutes drive you've got the amazing Cottesloe Beach and Trigg Beach.  What else is there to do when the day heats up than hit the beach?  If you want to get your exercise - you need to do it early.  And really, what is a better way to start your day than a run on the beach at 5:30AM?  In the evening, it's all about the Aussie BBQ and a cold beer or nibbles and a glass of fine Aussie wine. Yes, life is good in Perth.
 Picnic With a View

This week, Nicki took us for a whirlwind roadtrip of all of her favorite places in the South West.  From vineyards to stunning white sand beaches, tall tree forests of Karri trees and the jagged and wild mountains of the Sterling Ranges, this corner of Australia has so much to offer.  All of this framed by a crystal clear turquoise/green ocean and an immense and beautiful coastline.

Disco Meets Yoga

For those of you who like to run trails, look no farther that the Bibbulmun Track.  The Bibbulmun Track is a long distance walking trail, which stretches nearly 1000kms from the Perth Hills to Albany (South Coast) through the heart of the scenic South West of Western Australia.  A couple of years ago, Nicki did the whole thing in it's entirety - one great big self-supported adventure in 19 days.  I've long been interested in doing a long through-hike and all of this talk might be enough to nudge me in this direction some time in the future. 
Soaking Wet on the Bibbulmun Track

It's sure been a fine way to wind up our trip.  Unhurried, Very Sociable with a giant side-dish of No Worries, Mate.  It's the Aussie Way.  Last night we had the bonus of seeing Santa arrive on a tractor in the small farming community of Nomans Lake and gorged ourselves on country-style appetizers and dessert.  How's that for a one-of-a-kind Aussie experience?

Thanks to the Slater family for taking such good care of us!  We've been spoiled by Jill in Perth and Rod and Jane in Narrogin.  We've been fattened up just in time for Christmas.  The biggest thanks of all to the amazing Nicki Rehn for making us part of this fun family mob and showing us her favourite corner of Australia.  We're smitten with Western Australia and the warm unpretentious folks that live here.