Yanchep to Perth!

"Welcome to Perth!" said Mr. Swan, as he kissed Aimee on the cheek in the way swans do. "Please enjoy all that Perth has to offer," he added truimphantly, "because finally, after your long and perilous journey, you have arrived."

Then all the swans trumpeted loudly a fanfare of welcome, except one, who was eating bread from a Japanese tourist nearby.
The Story of Flat Stanley:
Once upon a time there was a boy named Flat Stanley. He wasn't always flat, but one day when he was cleaning up after class a bulletin board fell on him and flattened him to the sixe of a piece of paper.

One might think this unfortunate, but once he became flat he found he could travel easily and inexpensively by climbing into an envelope and mailing himself to different places around the world. What an adventure!
 
meet flat-me
After reading the story of Flat Stanley, Pam's granddaughter in the United States decided that was a pretty keen idea. She squashed herself into an envelope and arrived in the Post a week later at Pam's house!

When did you arrive? I think it was at the beginning of March. I came out of the envelope in Ocean Grove, that's in Victoria. Then Nan took me with her to Perth and Yanchep! She's awesome! She's my favourite to visit.

So...what's it like being flat? Oh, it's fun.

Could you expand? You mean, like, make myself normal size again?

Actually, I meant on the question, but whatever. I don't know, I haven't tried. Hang on... HHNGHGH!!! Nope, I guess not.

Are you able to perceive the 3D dimension? Of course I can, silly. I'm still three dimensional, but my depth is simply the width of a piece of paper, about 3 micrometres. Plus the width of the laminate, of course.

What do you eat? Oh, you know, tortillas, pancakes, rice crackers, stuff like that. Gotta keep my weight down so I can fit into one of the 500g Parcel Post Satchels.

Does being this size make it easier to see both sides of an issue? Ha ha. That's sooooo funny I forgot to laugh. Dork.
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

Don
Remember Don? Maybe you don't, since we first met him way back on Week 2, on the same night we met the Jackass. Don's homebase is in Perth, so he was happy to let us crash in his bus for a few days and show us the sights of his favourite Australian city!
Pam
Remember Pam? She's with Don. She's originally a Pom, but moved to Yanchep, WA about 20 years ago, so she's an honourary Aussie now. Pam's now lives in Ocean Grove (our home for a few weeks before the bike trip), but flew over to Perth to visit Don... and US! Hi Bert! BAAH!
Val
Pam was staying at Val's place in Yanchep when we rolled into town, and we were invited to stay as well! Val's got a great place right near Fisherman's Hollow and the Lagoon, a spot on the Indian Ocean where there's no surf, so it's perfect for kids. And perfect for a BBQ! Yum!
Darryl
Landsdale Primary was in the West Australian for Bikeweek 2003 so we decided to drop in on them. Darryl, the Phys Ed teacher, welcomed us to the school, then loaned us Endless Summer II to inspire us into more wacky adventure. If you ask us, Darryl sounds like he should be on the radio.
wally's amazin' facts!
What's black, clumsy, and doesn't eat Nutri-Grain? A swan, of course! Black Swans are so abundant in Perth and Western Australia, that not only are they on the West Australia flag, but they've named a beer after them! If you want to feed them (something other than Nutri-Grain), pop over to Lake Monger!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: Let's talk about Perth. Western Australia has a population of 1.8 million people, 1.3 million of which live in Perth! That leaves only 500,000 for the rest of the state, a state larger than all of Western Europe! As a result, Perth is the world's most isolated capital city. Well, Boo frickin' Hoo! At least you're a city! Try going to Yiyili Rest Area for a couple days. Now that's isolation!

Next week, I'll tell you a secret about why the war memorial in King's Park is called the Whispering Wall... Shhhh!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
hey boogerhead!
Remember that Bikeabout Betting Pool you entered
way back at the beginning of the trip?

Well, it's Day 183 and we're in Perth!

Check and see how you're doing!
Distance this week: 265kmDistance since Day 1: 8274km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 177: Not To Be Missed
Distance Travelled: 89.7km Temperature: 23
Time on Trikes: 10h Water Left: 6.5L
Terrain: Rolling
End Location: GG30
bitten by the bug
As we've said before, it's always a bit of a high to pull into a petrol station and find an Adventure Tour bus there. Makes us feel like we're the real deal when it comes to adventuring.
   When we saw a Western Travel Bug bus tour at the Cataby petrol station today, watching them crowd around the bikes, we sat off to the side and enjoyed a Paddle Pop. Let them come to us, we said. And some of them did. Same questions as always -- where have you been, how far a day, how many punctures, etc. -- then off they went to visit the Pinnacles.
   Now, how embarrassing is this? Six hours later, at the next petrol station, there we were enjoying another Paddle Pop, when guess who should pull up... Western Travel Bug. The same bus. They'd been 100km up the coast, snapped a picture, and come back. We'd gone 42km. They all scoffed at us and our Paddle Pops Of Australia Nationwide Tour. We were, like, sooo embarrassed.

"He looks like Mr. Bean's evil twin... DR. BEAN! BWAHHAHAHAHAAA!"
- Kevin.
Day 178: Smells Like Home
Distance Travelled: 72.6km Temperature: 27
Time on Trikes: 8.5h Water Left: 7.0L
Terrain: Nice Trees!
End Location: 15km from Yanchep
what's one more day?
Sure, we probably could have made it to Yanchep today, but how can you pass up a forest like this? After travelling through all the red dust and scrubby bushes of the last five zillion miles, we turned a corner and smacked into a pine forest. Pine? Is pine a native Australian plant? I didn't think so either. This forest isn't natural. It's... creepy.
   First, the trees are arranged in perfect rows, almost like crops. Secondly, there's no underbrush, and as we all know, underbrush is necessary in Australia to hide all the things that can kill you. Third, there are no low hanging branches. Fourth, they're growing in sand. There's no way this is native flora.
   Our summation: they were brought over by early British settlers in preparation for the future advent of the Telephone Pole industry. These are pole crops, to save the Australian government millions of dollars each year on pole importation tariffs. I think I'll make an effort to come back to watch the harvest.

K: "Olives!"    A: "Grapes!"    K: "Olives!"    A: "Grapes!"   
Day 179: Don't Tread on Me
Distance Travelled: 26.3km Temperature: 27
Time on Trikes: 3.5h Water Left: 2.0L
Terrain: Up & Down
End Location: #8 Coles Place, Yanchep
the taped crusaders
We know what we're doing. We are the kings of making our tires last beyond the call of tire duty, and now, at no extra charge,we're passing that knowledge on to you. There are three stages to making your tread dollars go further than ever before:

Rotating: When you bike was five tires like ours, remember to rotate them every 2000 kilometres or so. This will mean that they'll all wear evenly. The front tire looks brand new long after the others are balder than Vin Diesel's scalp.

Avoid the Double G: Goatheads, Bindis, call them what you will, these thorns are worse than a VC booby trap. Make sure that whenever you pull your bikes off the road into an oh-so-comfy campsite, do a walkthrough with your own two feet first. If the soles of your shoes could be used as deadly weapons, don't even think about bringing your bike through. Nothing ruins a tread (or a tube, for that matter) faster than an invisible double G thorn.

Wear and Tear: When you spot that first bit of breakthrough in your tire, you might think it best to switch it out for one of the spare treads you're carrying. WRONG! This is why we are in the know and you, sir, are in the no. By doing this, you're shortchanging your tread. Believe in your tread. It wants to keep on going, it just needs a little help.
   Help in the form of Duct Tape!! Break out the handyman's best friend and start wrapping it around your tread, where needed. It's like sticky magic. Reapply as required (every 20-40 kilometres).

Note: The tread pictured got us an additional two-hundred kilometres despite being split in two separate places. We had to replace it when we ran out of duct tape. That's good tape!

"I've never seen anyone with so much conditioner."
- Kevin.
Day 180: Where's my Fortune Cookie?
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 31
End Location: Yanchep
dinner out is a go
There's a huge, HUGE difference between eating out at a restaurant, and eating out at a roadhouse.
   This evening, we went out to dinner with Don, Pam and the ladies of Yanchep to an honest to goodness RESTAURANT. Chinese food! In the outback, the closest thing you could get to Chinese food was a Dim Sim under a heat lamp. We were reminded what it means to pay for food and enjoy it, rather than pay for food because the only other choices were tuna or death.

"'Ugh, I would NEVER live on the Upper East Side.'"
- Kevin.
Day 181: Picture Day
Distance Travelled: 76.6km Temperature: 33
Time on Trikes: 8.5h Water Left: 4.0L
Terrain: Crazy, windy, busy, dusty
End Location: Don's Bus, Karrinyup
off to the principal's office
Friday, 2:30pm. We're supposed to be at the school by now. To get particular, we were supposed to be at the school three hours ago. Instead, we're fighting the traffic, fighting the wind and fighting exhaustion as we travel from Yanchep Township to Lansdale Primary School.
   It all started yesterday when we saw that it was BikeWeek in Western Australia. We read in the West Australian that Lansdale Primary School had nearly 60% of their children bike to school. We thought it would be great to visit on our way into Perth. A celebration of human powered transportation.
   That is, if these two humans could actually transport themselves in. We felt like Truman when he's trying to leave town. Mother Nature blew up some of the worst headwind imaginable, people we'd met months ago stopped for chats, we passed a Coles and had to go in for a milk (old habits die hard). Now, it's 2:35 and we're just pulling into the Primary School. Whew. They're still here. The smiles on our faces are ones of relief.

"I wouldn't be jogging in that top without a dog.'"
- Aimee.
Day 182: Mall Soldiers
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 25
End Location: Karrinyup
brights lights, big centre
Sometimes things are more difficult or inconvenient than we'd like, i.e. Broome's inefficient city planing which placed the caravan parks 5km from the shops. At other times, the gods of capitalism smile down on us, i.e. Don's house. You see, my pulsating neon pal, Don lives beside one of the largest shopping meccas in Perth -- the legendary Karrinyup Centre. This is like saying to someone who's lived off of bread and water for five months (or tuna and couscous, for that matter) that they'll be spending the night at Sizzler. We thought we'd be overwhelmed, but we were too busy enjoying ourselves to notice any side effects.
   It's true what they say: Too much of a good thing can be really, really good.

"Great, now I've forgotten what I've forgotten."
- Aimee.
Day 183: Bitter Swan
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 28
End Location: Karrinyup
the wheels on the bus
It's Sunday. The shopping centre is closed. Yes, they still do that in some cities! So we thought we'd all find a seat in Don's happy bus and travel around Perth. This is Don's city, and it's time for Don's Top Five Things to See and Do!

1. Lake Monger. Home of the black swans, and a great place to get an idea of the city scape.
2. King's Park. Everyone loves greenery in the centre of the city, and King's Park is a beautiful viewpoint.
3. Hay Street. Central Business District for Perth... nothing to do but walk and shop (but not on Sunday).
4. Maritime Museum. Resting place of the Australia II, the pride of Oz, and winner of the America's Cup.
5. Fremantle Market. Only open on weekends, and loaded with plenty to buy, or just gawk at.


"Come on, no need to pay for the museum. We'll just pop into the gift shop. That's what we do in America."
- Kevin.
big smoke: (n.) the city. If you're from Horsham, 'Big Smoke' is Melbourne. If you're from Waracknabeal, it's Horsham. If Waracknabeal is your Big Smoke, good luck to you.
"Can't buy those here -- had to go to Big Smoke just to find this one."


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