Old friends & lochs

scotland-33Eight years ago, two strapping young Glaswegian medical students named Steve and Hamish decided to travel the world and Perth was one of their destinations. In fact, they’d chosen to do their medical electives in Royal Perth Hospital and that’s how our paths crossed! It was a meeting that was meant to be, since we’d already planned to do our electives in Edinburgh later that year. And so the friendship continued…But after 2006, we had to rely on good ol’ Facebook and Instagram to keep in touch – until now!

We stayed with the exceedingly hospitable Stevo who turned out to be quite the celebrity in his hometown, Glasgow. Not only is he now a fully fledged General Practitioner but he has also achieved what seems to be so utterly unattainable to me – the perfect work-life balance (Yeah, could be something to do with how much Candy Crush I play…Damn, that game is addictive, makes it more like work-Candy Crush balance for me). He’s a musician and a DJ, and seriously nearly every corner we turned people were saying “Hey Steve!”. And these weren’t just any people, these were people from the art, music and/or fashion scenes. Just a teensy bit jealous, Steve.

One of the huge highlights was our mini road trip to the countryside. The rolling hills, the serene lochs, the search for heilan coos…(Translation: highland cows) The scenes and the wintery cold brought back so many memories of our time here when we were still students, exploring the highlands, traipsing cobble stoned streets, eating many a haggis (it’s really good, you need to try it!), and trying out the old Scottish form of clubbing, cèilidh.

Now there’s absolutely no need to wonder why Stevo is so popular around town – he is absolutely one of the loveliest, kindest and coolest guys we’ve ever met, and it was so great to finally be able to catch up in person after so long! Thanks Steve!
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Gantheaume Point

gantheaume-17Whilst Jinn was in Broome I really wanted to make it down to Gantheaume Point as I’d read that there were real dinosaur footprints imprinted amongst the rocks that you could approach when the tide was low. There’s something cool about seeing things that are millions of years old, I find it fascinating and it makes me feel rather small yet thrilled at the same time.

We wandered and splashed around the amazing little rock pools for ages, searching for prehistoric footprints and marvelling at the tiny treasures that the tide had left behind. Pieces of colourful coral, pools brimming with tiny sea snails and my favourite hermit crabs, and strange white slug-like things which looked like alien creatures from a Doctor Who episode.

Well, before we knew it, the sun was setting and we had yet to find any signs of ancient dinosaur life. But you know what? We just didn’t care as we were taken in by the most gorgeous sunset we had seen yet, along with the amazing lighting and ever-changing colours of the sky which made it a photographer’s paradise. Plenty of locals had driven their 4WDs onto the beach and were casually enjoying the sight over their picnic dinners, it looked like heaven and the perfect way to spend a Sunday evening. Gives me ideas for next time!

This place is an absolute must see, with sunsets that rival or, dare I say, are even better than Cable Beach’s. There’s plenty of signage on the way there and I highly recommend taking a 4WD and a hamper full of yummy food and beverages. And if anyone knows where those footprints are, please enlighten me!gantheaume-13 gantheaume-21gantheaume-12gantheaume-5 gantheaume-4gantheaume-1gantheaume-6gantheaume-32gantheaume-33gantheaume-8gantheaume-9gantheaume-10gantheaume-11gantheaume-14gantheaume-15gantheaume-18
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I’ve been everywhere, man!

plane-8My apologies for being so sporadic with the posts of late! But let me explain why…In the last three weeks I’ve gone from Perth to Broome to Fitzroy Crossing to Noonkanbah (*big breath*) back to Fitzroy Crossing to Broome to Perth to Melbourne to Shepparton and all the way back to now be sitting in my little apartment in Broome to bring you this post! And guess what? I’m off to Kununnura on Sunday. So now you know what a gypsy/itinerant life I’m leading and why sadly our beloved blog has been somewhat neglected.

But on the upside, I have had some amazing experiences, some that I may never have had the chance to do and maybe never even have actively sought out being a professed city girl. Whilst in Fitzroy Crossing, we had to fly out to see the kids at a tiny Aboriginal community called Noonkanbah in a tiny one-engine six-seater plane – it was the best fun EVER! Most of the other members of this little expedition had been on many a mini-plane flight before and sat there grumbling about the heat (it’s not air-conditioned!) or quietly nursing their motion-sick heads. As for me – I was grinning like an idiot! I think I even involuntarily let out a little “Whee!” when we hit some turbulence! I bagsed shotgun on the ride back and unashamedly filmed the landing – what a loser! Although I think the pilot was secretly chuffed…

So far, I’ve survived doing solo paediatric clinics essentially out in the middle of nowhere, and met the most beautiful children and the friendliest of hospital staff, all amongst the most gorgeous of landscapes (picture flowing rivers lined by hauntingly white gum trees, ochre red dirt dotted with pot-bellied boabs). If this is any reflection of the rest of my time here, I have a really good feeling about this place. 🙂plane-4 plane-2plane-7 plane-6 plane-5plane-1 plane-9

Happy Chinese New Year!

1broome6For me, I’ve decided that this year is going to be the year of the Hermit Crab. Yes, not one of the traditional twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac but that kind of sums up how this year is looking for me – less than “traditional”. My usual Chinese New Year festivities kick off with much greeting of everyone with loud and enthusiastic cries of “Gong hee fat chaiiiiii”, followed by eating superhuman amounts of steamboat, lo han tsai (one of my fave vegetarian dishes – ever!) and yee sang, then giving out ang pao (red packets) to all the little kids!

This year, a Broome local took me and a bunch of others fishing. Now, for those of you who don’t know me well, this really is quite a dramatic and momentous occasion as fishing and me don’t generally ever get mentioned in the same sentence. I’m admittedly a city-girl and the last memory I have of going fishing was around the age of five when my dad took us fishing off a dark smelly jetty in Mandurah. I managed to get a fish hook stuck in my knee, and the whole experience was so traumatic that I’d never been fishing since!…But! Just as a hermit crab has to expose its soft and vulnerable bum to find itself a bigger and better home, I’ve resolved to say yes to anyone and anything, throw myself out there to make new friends, and firmly ignore that safe, comfortable, boring and shy girl that sometimes takes hold of me in these situations.

So off we went! After some nifty four-wheel driving over the gorgeous but bumpy red dirt roads, we finally arrived at our fishing spot for the day. The spectacular view just about took my breath away – I can barely describe it and the photos don’t do it justice. The place is so untouched and just teeming with life. Hermit crabs of all sizes scuttle around your feet (some tinier than a pea!), silvery fish flit blithely through the clear aqua waters, and turtles surf the gentle waves, occasionally poking their heads above the surface. The water itself was so deliciously warm that all fear of jellyfish and other such scary things was forgotten as we took refuge from the heat of the relentless sun. No fish were caught, but I couldn’t have cared less!

The day was suitably capped off with an evening by Cable Beach enjoying the sunset, drinks in one hand and fish and chips in the other. Gong hee fat chai indeed!

They say you should spend Chinese New Year doing the things you really like because it predicts what you’ll be doing for the rest of the year. Let’s hope this old saying holds true for me – because that means my year is going to be a cracker!

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