20 March 2013
We've enjoyed our time in Adelaide - and actually, we'll be back in about two weeks.
We've been staying at the Adelaide Motel and Backpackers - apparently in either a backpacker room (also known as a hostel), or in a family room. As I've said, we have a room with a queen-size bed, a single, and bunk beds. Plus a mini kitchen, and a decent en suite bathroom. Comfortable, quiet, and lots of interesting young people passing through Adelaide staying here or working here for a week or two. (This morning I chatted with a nice young man from the Cinque Terre region of Italia.) Great location, right on the free bus route, and two blocks from the free tram - so there are choices for free (FREE!) transportation. The area is also near the university so there are plenty of options for inexpensive food, as well as local places for people who work in the area. And it's an easy walk to most places in the city (since Adelaide is fairly flat). So if you want a clean and inexpensive place in Adelaide, this is the one to choose. http://adelaidemotelandbackpackers.com
Okay, so, heading to Perth. Initially we hadn't planned on heading to Perth - our thought was to visit Adelaide, and catch the train to Darwin, up on the north coast. We went to the railway station to book our tickets. And we found that a one-way ticket from Adelaide to Darwin was fairly pricey, plus the least expensive seats (reclining sleeper seats, not private cabins) were fully booked until late March/early April. There were less expensive options, such as if we had senior cards from Australia, or were members of a hostel association. Best option was the rail pass - for less money than the one-way ticket Adelaide-Darwin (and even less than the senior
rate), we could buy a pass that covered
that route PLUS covered the Sydney-Adelaide-Perth route. So we bought that pass - that part was a no-brainer. It did mean, however, that we'd have about three weeks in Adelaide, while we waited for the date when the train seats were available.
Adelaide-Sydney wasn't available, those seats were all taken. So no choice - Perth it was. But when we return from Perth, we have five additional days in Adelaide while we wait for the train to Darwin. Because these trains that go off to the far reaches of Australia only go once a week. (We are slaves to the train schedules.)
I like to think that we essentially have a free round-trip to Perth - we've paid less than full price for Adelaide to Darwin, and for that same less-than-full-price ticket, we get to go to Perth for FREE! And everyone likes free travel, right?
Perth actually sounds very cool - or actually, nice and warm! It's right by the Indian Ocean, which is a novelty for us - neither of us have ever been in the Indian Ocean! Richard wants to dive, and I want to go to Penguin Island. Can you imagine, an island with so many penguins they named the island for them???? Plus everyone has to leave Penguin Island by sunset, so that the little penguins can take over! But it's an easy day ferry trip, with time to visit the colony and see if any little penguins are hanging out in their burrows, and there's actually a penguin feeding time for the rescued penguins. You KNOW I'm going to that!
So we're now excited about Perth. We've booked a room about 30 minutes south of Perth itself, in the town of Rockingham. The house is about 5 minutes from the beach. We'll both hang out on the beach, swim, snorkel, look for dolphins, and relax. The usual beach vacation type of thing.
This is a private home, the owner rents out rooms - we found it through www.airbnb.com. (Thanks Alex!) And I'll report more when we get all the way out to Western Australia.
But you might not hear from us for a few days. We have shopping, to get some food together for the three-day-two-night train trip. We also need to re-organize clothes and toiletries so we have what we need for the trip, while the rolling luggage gets checked. And we need to re-charge the Kindles - thankfully we have lots of books to read (thanks to my friend Amanda Panda for ereaderiq.com for free Kindle books - and thanks to Amazon for all those free books!) and plan to relax and see the amazing scenery and geographic diversity of Australia.
We have no idea if we'll have internet access on the train. I'll take tons of photos, and will post again once we get to Perth and Rockingham.
And we hope the kangaroos and dingoes and koalas are hanging out so we can see them as we speed by!