I love to learn about the world around me and the animals in it! Check out these two fun videos that show you just how quick an octopus can be! I didn’t know they could come out on land like that or that they fancied being paparazzi or that they could show Houdini a trick or two! Warning, a little bad language at the end of the first video.
…but he says they paid him in bananas! Not fair for the best commercial of the evening!
Friday, September 25, 2009. We got up at 5 so we could be ready to hop in our Maxi Taxi by 7 a.m. We had to get the Maxi Taxi so all of our luggage fit in (it is like a van). The gentleman who picked us up was very interesting and he and Daniel talked the whole way to the airport. Small wait at the airport as we once again had to get the special waiver for being international travelers so they wouldn’t charge us an arm and a leg for our excess luggage.
Our flight from Perth to Ayers Rock was uneventful. They really do like to feed you on Qantas! On a 2 hour flight, we received pretzels, drinks, then a meal (pasta salad, roll, toberlone candy, cheese, crackers, tea or coffee and water). They also give you complimentary headsets and the tickets here are cheaper to fly about than at home…go figure that one out!
Anyway, we got to Ayers Rock and got our rental car all sorted out, filled it up with luggage, then headed to the ATM and grocery store. We picked up a bunch of water, some afternoon snacks/supper, and a map. We also added to our magnet collection!
Next we drove to Ayers Rock/Uluru. Uluru is the Aboriginal name and much like places in America that are sacred to the Native Americans, Uluru is sacred to the Aborigines. Our plan was to drive up, take a few photos, then head on to Alice Springs which was where we had rooms. This would give us a chance to drive through the Outback. We couldn’t believe it when we arrived at Uluru and discovered it would cost us 50.00 to get in to see it up close! That’s 25.00 per person over 16 years of age! So, we pulled out through the exit, Daniel took a couple of shots from afar and we rode on down the road.
Today we were up at 4:00 a.m. Nothing new there, eh? Our taxi arrived to pick us up at 5:45 a.m. and took us to the Clarkson Train Station. We gave him the last of our cash and expected to get more money from the ATM at the Train Station, but alas, there was no ATM at the train station and the nearest was a 25 minute walk away. No worries, mate, we’ll just use our debit cards to get tickets from the machine. Unfortunately, the one problem we have run into here is that while our cards will work fine if we use them with a signature, we cannot use them as debit cards except at an ATM. Very frustrating. The lady at the convenience store couldn’t help us because she could only give us cash if we could use the debit card feature. The person who should have been at the ticket counter was off taking care of other business in the station. We had to get to Perth by 7 or we would miss our tour bus.
There was a button on the box next to the ticket machine that said press for information. It rang when I pushed it, but no one ever answered it. I tried pushing it three or four times. A lady walking by asked what our troubles were and we explained, she went on her way. Meanwhile athe ticket agent arrived. We explained our dilemma and told him we would need to buy our tickets directly from him. He went into his office and came out and handed us complimentary passes. We were not expecting that, but apparently, he wasn’t set up to sell tickets there. Or at least couldn’t do it with signature debit cards. We made it on the train with a couple of minutes to spare. As the ticket agent was signing our passes, the lady came back, she had taken money out using her debit card at the convenience store and was going to loan it to us! Can you believe that? We were astounded. We have been so amazed, time and time again on our trip here at how pleasant, helpful and accomodating Australians are. We took the train to Perth, and once we got off there, our lady friend showed us the correct direction to head in. We arrived at the tour bus pickup right at 7:00 a.m.
Then, it was on to the bus to Rockingham for the Swim with the Dolphins trip. This was something that Katrina had chosen for this trip that she really wanted to do. And she was very excited. During the 40 minute drive to Rockingham, the guide told us what would be happening during our time on the boat and what to expect when we were in the water. It was obvious that she and all of the others on the tour had a true love of the dolphins and what they were doing with these tours where people were allowed to see dolphins in their natural environment.
We loved our lovely 3 bedroom Mindarie Villa and we all would have liked to have stayed there longer. Katrina, who is practicing to be a real estate agent, sets you up with a walk through in this video.
We were up again at 4 a.m. That gave us some time to do odds and ends and shower and get ready for the day. The Bezants came by around 8:45 after dropping Charlotte off by school (she had a big test). Then we had a lovely breakfast at The Dome restaurant (an Australian chain). I tried vegiemite. I understand it is an acquired taste…since I can’t get it back home, I don’t think I will work too hard at acquiring it!
After brekky, our tour guides drove us into Perth. Steve was able to take the day off and it was delightful to have a running commentary from our friends as we saw some of the sights in this area. We visited Kings Park. We enjoyed some fantastic views of Perth and the Swan River. We also enjoyed seeing a variety of Australian flora. And we watched part of a rehearsal for a play called Wildflowers. There was to be a big wildflower festival this coming weekend.
Here is the video I took of parts of the rehearsal. Katrina and Alexis in particular enjoyed watching the flowers and the bee.
Here is my video I put together from yesterday.
And here is Daniel’s video he put together yesterday. Note the free advertising for Crabby Mike’s in Myrtle Beach!
I had a hard time getting this video uploaded last night, but it finally went through!
My video of Bondi Beach