Dork Geek Nerd

"Rational romantic mystic cynical idealist"

Monday, April 15, 2019

Roamin' holiday

In 2005, a year before this blog was born, I travelled across to Western Australia, then slowly back to New South Wales on a wavy line through South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. It was a weeks-long journey that involved trains, planes, ships, ferries, coaches and relos' cars. During the trip, I sent my parents 27 postcards. They still have the cards in a photo album, so I thought it would be amusing to pull them out, have a read and share a selection of my comments...

On the Indian Pacific: "We were late for every stop along the way!"

After visiting a Perth supermarket: "Peter's Drumstick ice-creams are called Peter's Trumpets here."

After visiting Perth Mint: "If I was made of gold, I'd be worth $1.7 million!"

After visiting Perth Zoo: "Saw a group of lazing lionesses being teased by willy wagtails."

Raving about the Swan Bells: "Arguably the world's biggest instrument."

After visiting Burswood Casino: "Didn't feel the urge to play blackjack. Past experience has shown it's too much hard work for a small profit."

After visiting the WACA cricket ground (to see WA vs SA): "Good batting early, good bowling late, bad fielding all day."

Raving about the Horizon Planetarium: "Both [documentaries] were excellent, and preceded by a lecture on starwatching with tonight's sky simulated on the dome."

In Fremantle: "First stop, after some fresh calamari and a banana smoothie, was the Motor Museum."

After visiting the Maritime Museum: "America's Cup winner Australia II hangs inside... They even have life-size models of the key people - Bertrand, Lexcen, Bond, etc."

After visiting Fremantle Prison: "Before it closed in '91, the prisoners were allowed to paint the walls of their cells and yards... Some of the artwork is quite brilliant."

After visiting Rottnest Island: "Had lunch, inspected a lighthouse, checked out the old salt works, played 18 holes of minigolf and took a cruise on an underwater explorer."

Prior to leaving Perth: "The things I'll remember most are the brightness of the light and the sense of disconnection from the rest of Oz."

In Adelaide, after viewing the Bradman Collection at the State Library: "Didn't realise he was also a good tennis player and a champion golfer."

After visiting the State Museum: "Early Aboriginal culture has been thought of as simple. However, the wide variety of weapons, tools and bush medicines on display proves that simply wasn't the case."

On a postcard of Rundle Mall: "How cute are these piggies?"

After miscellaneous activities: "Had lunch at the Greedy Goose from TV's 'My Restaurant Rules'."

After visiting Adelaide Zoo, I was again fixated on panthera leo: "The lions - one adult male, two adult females and three juveniles - were downright energetic, wandering all over their enclosure. They even gave a couple of growls to make us smile and step back slightly from the rail."

After touring the wineries of the Barossa Valley: "Yaldara was only one of half a dozen vineyards where Uncle J. and I sampled reds."

After touring numerous townships with Uncle J. and Aunt A.: "We stopped in at their old pub, the Hagen Arms."

In Adelaide again: "Coldish and raining. Could have stayed inside reading, except a maid warned me every carpet in the joint was going to be steam cleaned. So, umbrella in hand, I set off for the CBD..."

In Melbourne, awaiting passage to Tassie: "This postcard written in one of the city's million or so cafes. I think they stayed open late to let me finish."

After crossing Bass Strait by boat: "The wind was blowing at 20-25 knots and the waves were about 1.5 metres high."

In Hobart: "Having now spent time in the eight Australian capitals, I can say that [Hobart] is the most unique."

After a day filled with cultural doings: "Anglesea Barracks was built out of fear the Russians might invade."

After a fantastic guided tour of Bellerive Oval: "Particularly cool was finding a handwritten note in the commentary box listing which commentators were on in which time slots for the Pakistan Test."

After visiting the Docklands/Salamanca area: "I'm not immune to the charms of a neatly maintained wooden sailing boat with a fresh coat of paint and shiny brass fittings."

If I sent any cards between that point and returning to Sydney, they didn't reach Mum and Dad. I recollect being stuck in Melbourne waiting for a night train or bus, with a bag too heavy to tote far, then finding a cinema and watching a few movies in a row, including the crappy kids' flick "Five Children And It".

Speaking of media, while trekking through the four states, I also devoured the first 3-4 vols of George RR Martin's "A Song Of Ice And Fire" - with no idea it would go from a series popular at my local games shop (I discovered it via their newsletter) to a global phenomenon.