Wait Awhile State

Thur. 2nd May 2019

Sculpture in the GardensAfter our long day yesterday we are glad not to be flying until 1:30pm so have a slow start. We do want to get a walk and some fresh air in this morning, as much of the day will be spent sitting around in planes and airports. We decide on visiting the Olive Pink Botanical Gardens. I have read that it is full of Central Australian plant species so I know it will not be like the “exotic” Botanical garden we visited in Asia full of busy lizzies and other common European plants. Exotic to the locals but mundane for us!

Typical landscape in the GardensSo a 16 hectare area by the Todd River which had been unoccupied scrub land was taken over by Miss Olive Muriel Pink in 1956 when she was 72 years old. She and a number of local Waripiri gardeners spent two decades battling drought conditions planting a collection of trees and shrubs as well as other plants which could survive the harsh conditions. Her vision was to provide a site to protect native species and teach locals about the flora. When we visited we saw a few small white flowers on shrubs but otherwise it was a mass of green and brown, interspersed with the distinctive white bark of the gum trees. The meandering footpaths and coffee shop, which is popular with locals, makes a peaceful haven for everyone to enjoy.

Good sentiments on the Perth transport systemAfter the pleasant start, it was soon time to set off on our transfer to Perth via Adelaide which was uneventful, just long and involved more sitting around than we had hoped. On picking up our car at 10pm the ladies in the Hertz rental kiosk were so friendly and chatty. We are loving the Aussies more and more as each day passes and think these rules (from the Perth bus service)  especially 3 and 7 would do wonders in the UK (click on the picture to see a bigger view). The pace of life is slowing as we head west and are beginning to understand why Western Australia is nicknamed the Wait Awhile state.

As The lounge at Adelaide makes the wait more bearablelittle happened today, I will digress onto the planning of our trip. Last time we were over here visiting Melbourne, our friend Myf said we must visit the Bungle Bungles and Ningaloo, so that put the North and West of Australia as a future trip. We then found there is so much to see between Perth and Darwin, so the road trip of some 5,000 km was formulated. This then grew by another 2,000 km and two weeks by adding a trip south from Perth to Margaret River (wine), along to Esperance (Coast, caves, and scenery) and back via Hyden (Wave Rock) to Perth.

Leaving Alice in the sunshineNext to research was the long haul flights to Australia on One World partners so that we can earn air miles and tier points to keep our silver status. These seemed best to the East Coast rather than West, but we did not want to go back there so we compromised on Adelaide, which we had not visited before. I then spotted there were direct flights from Alice Springs to Perth so could I please go on The Ghan for my birthday, please? Done. Once in Alice we just had to see Uluru.

Deluge in AdelaideAll was well until a few months ago when we heard from Qantas that the direct flight from Alice Springs to Perth was cancelled and we were rerouted via Darwin with a long layover and getting in to Perth at midnight. Our research showed we could go via Adelaide and arrive at 10pm instead. After some haggling Qantas agreed to change our flight again. Now, as we wait at the Adelaide there were two other earlier flights we could have caught to Perth. How frustrating, but not as bad as a family we met who had been delayed on every leg of their trip and had a number of aborted attempts to leave Ayers Rock Airport. Their mother also lost her carefully packed luggage containing outfits for every night.

With our BA silver status we get into the lounge even though we are flying cattle class, so a bit of a win. I do have to remember I will be driving when we get to Perth so no drinks for me. I am so glad we added our side trip to Alice and Uluru as aside from this transfer everything has exceeded expectations.

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