March 17, Wed
We are on the Rhapsody of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean ship. We are happy with our room and large window. Found lots of cubby holes to stuff our stuff and feel settled in. Our first port was Bunbury, actually just a short drive from Perth, but a nice town with lots of coffee shops. We walked all around and climbed the local view hill (skipped the hike up the tower). On the waterfront we stopped for coffee/tea at Domes, an Australian chain we’ve seen all around. We also wandered into a shopping center with a Target! Sometimes you never feel very far from home. Of course we’ve seen McDonalds and KFC, but instead of Burger King they have Hungry Jack, same logo and whoppers on the menu but they’ve changed the name. We haven’t needed a “taste of home” yet as the food is very familiar though the names may have been changed. I ordered a lemonade that turned out to be 7up with a lemon in it. I should have asked for lemon crush. We finished by walking through a beach neighborhood with beautiful homes overlooking the Indian Ocean.
The next stop was Albany, the first town settled in Western Australia before Perth. The main street runs up a gentle hill. They provided rides to the top of town and we took our time checking out the local spots walking down. This was the last port for the AU soldiers heading off to WW1 where 1/3rd of them died at Gallipoli in Turkey. Both Albany and Bunbury have ANZAC monuments to commemorate their lost soldiers. We stopped for lunch in a local place off the main drag that Will found on the internet. Sat next to a lovely Aussie farming couple in Albany for the day. They ended up joining us at our table so we could talk more easily. Their “farm” is what we would call a ranch – they breed bulls to sell across Western AU. They were most interested in hearing about the U.S. economy (the whole world is tied to us) and what’s with our health system.
My only disappointment so far is that we have not seen any kangaroos! It could be we’ll have to wait to see one at the zoo in Sidney! People say they are around but with the drought and higher than normal temps they are probably laying low.