Western Australia

Weds 6th April

At last I have found civilisation. A little office in the backpackers district of Northbridge offering wireless connectivity at just $3 an hour. So a quick change of plan. See how versatile I am. Brad dropped me off at half nine and will be back for me in a couple of hours. Damn I just realised I have left my phone in his car. Now that is going to be interesting as he was going to ring me when he had finished his job. Will have to let you know how I got out of this mess.

Brad came back to the Internet cafe once he realised I hadn't got my phone. Then he dropped me off at the train station and I left my laptop in his car so that I didn't have to carry it all around Freo with me. A highly efficient train service in Perth. Having purchased my ticket I took my seat on the train. The 30 minute journey went okay apart from a couple of indenious men walking up and down the train begging for money and then becoming abusive when none was forthcoming. I don't think they took too kindly to my dismissal but they didn't pursue the matter further. At last a ticket inspector arrived. "This should sort them out" I thought. The inspector strode purposefully towards the Abos, and continued past them. He reached a couple of English lads and then lambasted them for daring to board the train without wearing a shirt!! It seems its okay to heckle fellow passngers as long as you are wearing a shirt when you do it.

Freo station was the next stop so off I got. Another hot day but I was prepared. Cap, sunglasses, and water. What more could a tourist want. I had even brought my camera. Out of the station and the first thing I came across was a sweaty sock (Jock) playing his bagpipes. Almost brought tears to my eyes. Good job it didn't else I would have walked straight past their post office. Puts the Keighley (and Bradford come to think of it) Post Office to shame doesn't it? At last I found confirmation of Aussie culture. See what's on at their local playhouse. What a shame I won't be here for it! Then it was passed a local culture shop. Have heard of dogbreath as an insult in the UK, perhaps this is their equivalent.
Had a coffee on the "Cappuccino Strip". Plenty of cappuccinos about but not one strip ! At the top of the strip was a view you don't see everyday in Keighley, or Bradford, or Leeds even. In fact you don't see anything like this on any day.

A short trek across the town and I came to the old Fremantle prison, which was still used as a high security prison right up to 1991. It was built in the 1850's by convicts for convicts. Funny thing is the wardens no doubt were sons of convicts too. Talk about keeping it in the family. My drink at the Lucky Shag the day before seemed to pay dividends as I was the only one on the tour so I had a one-to-one narrative of the prison's history. The cells originally were only 7ft x 4ft with a hammock for the bed, a table to eat from, and a bucket for slops. Some prison reform in the late 1800s led to adjacent cells being combined to make a bigger space, but they then put 2 men in the cells which wouldnt have helped much. Bunk beds were the next improvement but conditions would still have been hot and sweaty. A female prison was built alongside in the 1950s as capital punishment was carried out here until it was abolished in 1964. Here's a link to some photos I took of the prison.

Back to Perth after my prison visit. I met up with Dave in the backpackers area at Rosie O'Gradys, an Irish pub to be sure to be sure. Kilkenny was on special offer so I had my drink for the night. My intention was a few drinks here and then catch the train up to Cannington where I would meet Brad at the Foundry, that is unless we happened to chance upon a couple of blonde millionairesses who wanted to be entertained for the night. So the train it would be !
As usual hunger came upon us so Dave offered me a choice. I could have Chinese, eat from Shanghai, maybe go Western, or settle on BBQ food. The Chinese took my fancy so £4 got me a plateful of meat and fried rice. Not the most scrumptious but cheap I suppose. And I always have Thailand to fulfil my culinary desires. I got a call from Brad saying there was a band on at the Foundry and it was $20 in to see them so he hadn't bothered going which meant the train as planned and then a taxi up to Brads as he had had a few JDs and was well settled in. The train journey was another Abo horro but this time there were plenty of guards strolling up and down the train. Obviously an ongoing problem that doesn't seem to be going away.