Saturday, 11 March 2017

Western Australia (26 November 2016 - 5 December 2016), Day 2 : Perth to Fremantle

At Sweet Lips, Fremantle
Just below Canning Bridge
At Canning Bridge underpass
Going under
The structure below
The view from Raffles Hotel
Beautiful bike path
Spectacular view from Waylen lookout
Jacaranda trees at Majestic Close; returning to bike path
Taking a Coca-Cola break opposite Melville's 7 Days Market
Best to stay by the river as inner city roads are a continuous climb
Monument Hill
Monument Hill
Monument Hill
High vantage point, Monument Hill
View of the Fremantle Port from Monument Hill
WA Museum, Shipwreck Galleries. Entrance is Free!!!
Old train tracks, with WA Museum, Shipwreck Galleries in the background
View from the train tracks
Esplanade Hotel
Walking towards Fremantle Markets
Shops near Fremantle Markets
Our bikes locked together
Following the train tracks to the new WA Maritime Museum
HMAS Ovens
Entering the submarine
Inside the submarine
Sleeping quarters
Captain's office
Captain's quarters
Engine room

We started the day tucking in delicious bacon, eggs, mushrooms and hash browns, all lovingly prepared by Sally. Riding out from The Esplanade Road on Mount Pleasant, the sky was cloudless with a deep blue hue and the weather had since cooled down to the rightful spring temperate; a huge difference from yesterday's 39 C. Everything was almost perfect even to the point where we spotted a bright colourful bird perched on top of a tree where we stopped to adjust Claudine's seat post. It kept sliding down. We will make a few more adjustments for the next 10 km as Rygel's saddle was going sideways as well!

As we rode down The Esplanade Road, we saw hoards of road bikers plying the road while joggers and leisure riders like us, use the safer shared bike/pedestrian path. Passing Deepwater Point Reserves, activities were at its height with picnickers, campers and anglers all coming together. A few rowers were also spotted in the river too!

We turned right at Swan River Rowing Club and crossed Canning Bridge at the underpass. As we emerged on the other side we saw Raffles Hotel and spotted another 2 group of cyclists; one was a family and another appearing to be an Indonesian cycling team.

Things quietened down a bit on Canning Bridge Road. Their habitats undisturbed, we saw the graceful black swans; some swimming gracefully, some sleeping with their heads tucked under their wings. Swan River was named after these famous black birds.

Soon we spotted the white masts of boats parked at South Perth Yacht Club. Today, we did not enter but instead rode past the entrance. Riding alongside the small bike path that ran parallel to its fences, we couldn't help but relive our magical time spent on Ian and Barbara's yacht. 

Leaving the yacht club, we climbed up a small bushland. Stopping by Waylen Bay lookout, hoping to catch glimpses of the bottle nose dolphins, we saw none! The rowing activities by the scouts down below could have frightened them away!

Steering away from the sandbanks, we rode along Melville Road but still within sights of the sea. The beautiful Australian beachfront homes continued to dazzle us. Here, the municipal council provides doggy bags for the civic minded to pick up after their pets.

Beyond Jeff Close Reserve, the bike path was closed for renovations. We had to make a detour to Fraser Road, which runs on an extremely steep slope. Pushing our bikes past the homes of the rich, a landscaper at work was curious where we got our tiny bikes!!!

We shared a brief exchange with him before connecting with Majestic Close. Here on, the road runs down a slope lined with Jacaranda trees at full bloom, all the way back to the bike path. From the end of the road, we had to carry our bikes down the metal stairs to reconnect with the path.

Arriving at Tompkins park, we decided to take a break at the benches provided. A cyclist on a recumbent bike passed us with a friendly remark on our Bromptons. Apparently there are very few in Perth! Since there are equally few recumbent bikes in Malaysia, our eyes followed him to the water fountain and the stainless steel toilet gleaming in the sun!

It was a state of the art intelligent toilet! With a push of the button, the door opens. It talks to you and only allows 10 minutes inside, so do hurry if you are on a long call as the door will automatically reopens when the time is up. In the meantime, soft classical music helps to calm your nerves as you make your "deposits".

We were getting bored with the river scenes....After filling up our water bottles at the water fountain and making everyone try out the intelligent toilet, we left the bike path.

It was a huge mistake as just after Canning Highway, Rome Road was a gradual climb. Rolling on Marmion Street, the climbs were even steeper!!!

When we spotted Melville's 7 Days Market, we took the opportunity to take a break. Australian's concept of buying more for less was too irresistible. Walking out with a 2L Coke, we were thankful we had brought flasks to keep what we could not finish!

Attempting to drug our boys with sugar was not enough. Each climb, drove their pace further and further downhill. Meanwhile, as Rygel tires, he became more flustered....

We knew we were nearing our destination when we finally spotted the harbour. Even the houses by the streets tell of a different time.

At East Perth Primary School, the building looked weathered by time. Built with limestones, sourced from around the area, the walls were corroded with holes all over!

At Monument Hill Reserve, we made a stop to enjoy the beautiful gardens and memorials to the fallen soldiers of World War One. Then we joined High Street before turning left for Parry Street. Here on, our downhill cruise began and continued all the way to Marine Terrace where we slowed our pace to soak in the harbour view.

As lunchtime was near, we made our way to Sweet Lips, a fish and chips joint by the waterfront to meet Yow and Sally. Uncle Hong Kin and Yu Weng came along to meet us. It was our lucky day as there was a fashion show rehearsal just next to us but the fish and chips which tasted better than the night before received our first hand attention!!!

After lunch, we walked the streets and visited Fremantle Market before parting ways with Yow and Sally. Thereafter, we went back to WA Shipwrecks Museum to browse on the free exhibits before joining our submarine tour at the newer WA Maritime Museum.

Leaving Fremantle, we decided to take the train. We had to get off at Perth station to change to the Mandurah line. Both stations are connected by an underground tunnel but requires a good leg work!

Enroute to Perth Underground, Rygel decided to answer the call of nature. We were horrified that the next toilet was a good 10 minutes walk away! Even the toilet signs printed the estimated walking time to the toilet!!!

Abandoning all thoughts of toilets, we were further delayed as only 2 bikes could enter the elevators at the station. Needless to say, we missed our train but the delay allowed us to finally relieve ourselves.

Getting off at Canning Bridge station, we were taken aback that a modern city like Perth could have an out of service elevator! We had no choice but to carry our bikes up the stairs.

Back on ground level and out in the open, the sun was blinding on a cloudless evening. We retraced our steps back to base. Dropping the boys at home, VT and Claudine rode on to Mount Henry Bridge. It was fun to ride on an elevated bike/pedestrian pass right under the motorways. Circling the bridge, they finally saw the other side of The Esplanade Road, Kwinana Highway and Riverton Drive. 

At Ribs and Burgers, William Street
That night, Yow took everyone to the city for Ribs & Burgers at William Street. Thereafter, we visited Uncle Hong Kum and Terrence. They served us fantastic desserts. Most memorable was Auntie Poh Choo's steamed sweet potato nyonya kueh topped with coconut gratings and Emily's chocolates brownies that warmed our bellies and gave us sweet dreams!

Total Distance : 50km 
Total Elevation : 305m

At Uncle Hong Kum's home

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