Our visit to Perth was a work-cum-holiday trip. Alfred met up with few of his company’s clients to discuss future business prospects with the company he is working for now. It was a fruitful work visit for him.
I’ve always looked forward to visiting Perth. Alfred’s cousin, Radha is residing there and when we met him in KL early this year, he mentioned about the beauty of the quaint sub-urban area where he lives in Perth. When we arrived at their home in Huntingdale in Perth, I instantly fell in love with the place. Our 10-days stay there was absolutely wonderful. We had lots of fun with the Radhakrishnan family – Alfred’s cousin Radha, his wife Sabita, and their 3 children, Brishman, Suthish and Daniya. They are such a wonderful family. I felt right at home the moment we arrived. Despite their busy schedule, they took very good care of us – making sure we don’t get lost while driving around town, and cooked delectable home-made dishes for us. On the final day of our stay, we left with a heavy heart – I was especially sad to leave Daniya – we’ve grown so close to the whole family especially Daniya. She is one cute little girl – very smart and witty.
Day 1 (Saturday):
- Arrived at Perth airport around 5.05 a.m. Since it’s nearing summer (it was spring at the time we went), the days are longer and the nights are shorter. We had breakfast at the airport.
- We rented a car and drove to his cousin’s place at Huntingdale – a quaint sub-urban neighbourhood.
- Greeted by Sabita akka and Daniya.
- In the evening, we went over to Radha’s restaurant. He is working as a chef at the Hilton and he recently opened up his own restaurant serving Indian and Malaysian cuisine. We had the honor to dine at his restaurant – and I must say the buffet line is impressive. And Radha cooked all the dishes! I was so impressed. We visited his kitchen and he explained how he prepares the sauces in advance so that the customers don’t have to wait long for the meal. The restaurant was crowded – and they managed pretty well. And the meal was scrumptious!
Day 2 (Sunday):
- We went to the flea market with Radha. Bought some fresh strawberries, oranges, and mangoes. We noticed that most of the fruits there are plump and they look so juicy – mouth-watering.
- At noon, we drove over to Fremantle. It is such a happening place during the weekend – with street performances, a mini-concert at the park and people chilling out at the park with their dogs and kids – it is so relaxing to be in that atmosphere.
- We had fish n chips in one of the cafes near the park. I loved the spearmint shake – so refreshing.
- Although it was sunny, it was pretty chilly because of the wind, especially near the coast.
- We walked around the street in Fremantle and then drove to a nearby beach.
The park overlooking the beach
- We drove to Rockingham to check out the beach. Before going to Perth, Alfred has been reading online reports on shark attacks along the coast of Perth and one of the spots were Rockingham. Just wanted to try his luck if he can spot a shark, haha – fat chance!
Day 3 (Monday):
- At 2 p.m., Alfred had an appointment with his client at Hay Street. Since it was near Kings Park, I asked him to drop me off at the park while he finished his work.
- I walked around the park and I totally fell in love with the lush green grass and the wild flowers at the botanical garden. I found a nice shady spot and dozed off and dreamt of all the wonderful things to come. I have never felt so relaxed before. It was totally relaxing – basking on a sunny day – with cool wind blowing from Swan river while lying on the soft-grass looking at the clear-blue-sky and tall trees towering above me. And the fresh smell of the grass is mesmerizing. I was admiring a pair of green parrots and ducks taking a stroll – they came so close that I can almost pet them – total bliss! I was totally present that the moment and was in awe of the beauty of nature. I wish I could lie down there for the whole day. It is so therapeutic to lie down surrounded by nature as beautiful as this.
Day 4 (Tuesday):
- I stayed back at Radha’s house while Alfred went for his second appointment with his clients. Had a nice long chat with Sabita akka – catching up on family stories etc.
- Sabita akka, Brishman, Daniya and myself went for shopping later in the noon. It was Brishman’s birthday and we went shopping for his gift. Sabita akka bought for him a pair of earrings, shirts and a a pair of shoes. He was so happy that day.
- Later in the evening, we went to a Chinese restaurant and dined there. It was our treat for Brishman’s birthday. We enjoyed our dinner – although the Chinese food there pales in comparison with the Chinese food here in Malaysia.
Day 5 (Wednesday):
- Drove down to Margaret River – around 280 km south of Perth. Margaret River is a popoular tourist destination – famous for its winery and cheese.
- The scenery along the way was superb – with farms stretching endlessly on both sides of the road. Unfortunately, since it was raining, we didn’t make any pitstops.
- We passed by many small towns – some of the layout of the town reminded me of Scotland.
- Checked into a youth hostel at Margaret River by noon. The place was very well maintained and cosy.
- Since it was raining, we pretty much lazed in the room.
- For dinner, we dined at an Italian restaurant. I enjoyed the meal there – it was cosy and warm 🙂 After dinner, went for a drive along the coast – there were practically no cars on the road and it was pitch dark. When Alfred playfully switched off the headlights of the car, there was complete darkness – scary!
Day 6 (Thursday):
- It was a sunny day with clear blue sky. Though the sun was hitting directly, the breeze was chilly.
- For breakfast, we went to a store and bought some oranges and red-juicy apples.
- We drove up north heading towards Perth. En route we stopped by Cape Naturaliste for whale watching. Apparently, the whale watching season was until end of November. So we were hoping we could spot a whale or two. The first time we ever saw a whale was when we were honeymooning in Mauritius – it was an awesome experience.
- The walk towards the whale-watching-point was a walk-againts-the-strong wind. The wind was so strong that I was basically pushed forward – that’s the downside to being light-weighted. And the breeze is so chilly. It was one heck of a walk – but I was so eager to spot the whale I continued walking until we reached the point. Unfortunately, this time round we were not lucky – we didn’t spot any whales at the cape.
- The landscape around the cape- sandy pathway and the wind was mercilessly blowing at us and most of the trees are barren.
- We continued our journey and stopped by a family-run animal farm to see the kangaroos. It was a small farm with few animals like dingos, emu, and kangaroos. The owner is a very friendly guy who explained in great length of the history of dingos and how the dingos are so misunderstood. We had the pleasure of meeting Duncan, the dingo – he is darn smart and very tame. That day, we learned alot about the dingos. They look exactly like dogs you almost can’t tell them apart. The Australian government prohibits anyone from keeping a dingo as a pet. Since dingos are native species, they can only be kept in zoos or authorized animal farms.
Duncan the Dingo
- After that, we had a kangaroo-petting session – they are so tame and so cute!
- After that, we drove by Dunsborough – a much older settlement, and Busselton along our way up north.
- We stopped by the beach to chill out before continuing our journey.
Day 7 (Friday):
- Went to Harbour town for shopping with Sabita akka and the kids.
- We had a dinner appointment that night with Alfred’s clients, Russell and Doug and their respective spouses. We dined at Chapter One, an Italian restaurant along Hay Street. The ambience and the food was superb. And we enjoyed their company. We received special attention from them since according to them, we are still newly-weds, haha. And they even took the trouble to get us a gift – so sweet of them. The highlight of the evening was Doug’s humor – he can easily qualify for a stand-up comedian – such a great guy to hang out with. When Alfred told me that we will be dining with middle-aged couples, I was expecting it to be a formal evening. But it was far from that! I totally had a great time with them.
Day 8 (Saturday):
- After returning the rented car at 8 a.m., we walked to the nearby train station and took a train to the city. Once we reached the city, we took a bus around to tour the city. After that, we got down at Kings Park. Since I didn’t really go around the whole park the other day, I wanted to go there again. And Alfred was more than eager to have his siesta under the shady trees.
- We walked around the entire park – admired the botanical garden; walked into the aboriginal art gallery; strolled along the glass bridge and looked out at the city; and lazed around on the lush-green-grass. It was simply a perfect Saturday afternoon!
The view of the city
The glass bridge
Day 9 (Sunday):
- On Sunday morning, we went to Fremantle market with the family. Daniya was so darn excited to go for an outing with us.
- We stopped by at the monument park and walked around and admired the view.
- At the Fremantle market, we bought some strawberries and cherries to take back home. The market was packed with people – but yet it retains some kind of orderliness.
- Walked along the street and watched the street performance. Every week they have different street performers – interesting.
- We sat in the park and watched the world go by. It was so relaxing – I felt sad knowing that we will be leaving the next day.
- By the time we reached home, it was almost 5 p.m.
- Alfred was playing with Chaki and Daniya while we were preparing dinner.
Daniya on her trampoline
- For dinner, Sabita akka made her famous dish – curry laksa. It was darn good! We had dinner while being entertained by the Russell Peter’s show. Had a great laugh that night.
- Radha came back at about 11 a.m. after closing his restaurant. Chatted with them until 1.30 a.m. Daniya has gone to bed by then. I know I am going to miss her alot.
Day 10 (Monday):
- Woke up at 3 a.m. and got ready.
- Radha dropped us off at the airport.
We left with a heavy heart. I am sure going to miss the whole family. They have been such a wonderful host and our stay with them has been a memorable one. On the way to the airport, I kept thinking about Daniya – how she’s going to ask about us when she wakes up later in the morning “Where is akka and Uncle” – she is such a cutie-pie. And we learned alot from Sabita akka on how to manage a family. Brishman is a very responsible boy (he is 16 years old) – and he takes good care of Daniya when his mother goes to work. All in all, they are such a wonderful family. We are so looking forward to seeing them soon when they come down to Malaysia next year.