Australia Day Ten: My last Day On The Indian Pacific And Finding Out Perth Isn’t The Remote Backward City I Thought It Was
I slept well after our last dinner on the Indian Pacific and awoke shortly before the sunrise the next morning to find our train stopped again. We were waiting to let three long freight trains pass and we were in a position where I again missed the sunrise. We got moving, after the sun was up, and found we were no longer in the treeless Nullarbor plain. In facts, we were going through some pretty country with large stands of beautiful, but unfamiliar, trees.
We continued through these forest until we came to more civilized areas, were the trees were cut and grasses now grew, sustaining large sheep farms. There wasn’t much wildlife but I did see the occasional bird flying through fields. Here is a link to some more photographs of our morning train ride. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-day-ten-indian-pacific-morning-ride-february-13-2016
The land become even more cultivated, with what appeared to be large grain farms, and it reminded me of the upper midwest in the United States. Every town we came to had a large grain elevator.
We than proceeded down along the picturesque Avon River. There is a National Park in the hills and we could see a lot of folks traveling the winding dirt roads for their Summer holiday. Here is a link to some more photographs of our ride through the Avon River valley. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-indian-pacific-avon-river-february-13-2016
We drove into the suburbs of Perth in the afternoon and now we were back in civilization. I was surprised to see how city like it was, even in the distant suburbs. I was in for an even bigger surprise. Here is a link to some more photographs of the Perth suburbs. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-day-ten-indian-pacific-perth-suburbs-february-13-2016
I sadly disembarked the train that was my home for four days, and which allowed me to see so much of the immense Australian continent. I said goodbye to some new friends at the Perth terminal and took a taxi to my hotel, the Hyatt in East Perth.
It was late afternoon already but I was excited to check out this new city that I had always imagined was in the remote and untamed western Australian wilds. How surprised I was to find this modern sparking city along the beautiful Swan River.
I walked along the river and couldn’t help but notice the contrast between the old historical buildings and churches, now dwarfed by a modern city. And there was construction going on everywhere.
I walked along the river for awhile and decided to walk into town and I found more contrast between new apartment buildings and condos being built everywhere and historic old churches, such as the beautiful St. Mary’s Cathedral.
There was just so much to see, but I was tired and hungry so only walked down to the harbour, and the famous Bell Tower. The streets were crowded with tourists and locals enjoying a sunny and pleasant sunny Sunday afternoon. It was much cooler, maybe around 90 degrees, than it had been here the past few days. Here is a link to some photographs from my walk to the Bell Tower.https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-day-eleven-perth-afternoon-walk-one-february-13-2016
I walked back through the towering office buildings only to find all sorts of art works and statues depicting the local, flora, fauna and culture of southwestern Australia. It really was nothing like the city I thought it would be remote, old and desolate.
I walked along and noticed a lot of folks gathering along the Swan River and discovered there was going to be a large free concert that night, promoting local Australian bands.
I also found out it was the kick off for the famous Perth International Fine Arts festival. All kind of events, exhibits for folks of all ages were being set up. I was hungry so headed back to my hotel for a late dinner but the sounds from the concert drew me back to the river at night to enjoy the free music. I lucked out again, like I did in Sydney by being at the right place at the right time. Here is a link to some more photographs from my walk through the streets of Perth. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-day-ten-perth-afternoon-walk-two-february-13-2016
Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore Andre Gide