The flight from Singapore was only around four and a half hours long but because it left at 01:30 was a little bit of a nightmare. I think when we booked the flights we were being cheap and so expressed a preference for overnight flights to avoid accomodation costs. I'm now thinking that may not have been too wise because we tend to suffer from the not sleeping and end up losing a day to fatigue. A think many other people must dislike night flights as the plane was empty and the staff almost outnumbered the passengers. I didn't feel too sleepy to start with so I played a little Nintendo and then watched some TV shows on the entertainment system. I realised I've forgotten how to do the special moves on Street Fighter II. When I finally did get my head down, stretched out with Gemma's legs sharing the middle chair with mine, I had been asleep for maybe ten minutes when the stewardess woke me up to give me a hot towel. I tried again. This time I managed five minutes before breakfast was served. As we'd only eaten supper about two hours previously I could only manage a few mouthfuls. In any case, with all the waking up going on I ended up not sleeping and then it was time to land.
The landing was a little shaky due to the wind as we approaced Perth. I think this wind partly accounted for the freezing temperature. We'd been expecting a drop in temperature coming from South East Asia but not quite to this degree. At one point later in the day Gemma's hands turned purple. We've been following the, much better written, blog of a British couple, who seem to be places a few days before us. Their Perth entry was illustrated with photos of lovely blue skies so we had high hopes. These hopes were dashed against the rocks of our despair though. We also noted that the shuttle bus driver had irritated them somewhat by keeping up a constant Little Britain impression through the journey. We caught the same bus. With the same driver. He was friendly enough, it's just that at the 23rd repitition of, 'Yeah ah know', it begins to grate a little.
The bus was into the city, which wasn't even where we wanted to be, but we just figured we'd get away from the airport. We had the driver drop us at the train station and caught the train to Fremantle. This was after letting the first, sardine packed rush hour train, and the second school special pass us by. After a coffee we located our accomodation, far too early to check in, dropped in our bags and went into Freo (as the locals call it). I don't think walking round on a dreary weekday morning is the best way to do Fremantle justice. The place is usually quite vibrant and hip, with a pavement coffee house thing going on. On a cold and miserable Thursday morning though all of the hipsters are at work, no-one is sitting outside the cafes and the only people around are OAP shoppers and the odd drunken Aboriginal family. We felt afraid that we had built up an image of a groovy Freo that didn't really exist. As we trudged around in the cold past the $2 shops we wondered what was going on.
Time stagnated and moved with the pace of treacle until check in time. We walked back to the B&B wanting nothing more than a shower and bed. By that point Gemma was greedily eyeing the cardigans in shop windows. I think the cold was getting to her. We were happy that the room was made up already and the proprieter Barry showed us in to our very lovely room. It cost a fair bit more than we would usually pay, or remember paying on our last trip to Australia, but it is very nice and is still at the lower end compared to some other options. As Gemma slept I checked out the local listings papers and found out that there is loads of really cool stuff happening in Freo and Perth. Only it was all listed as happening around 3 weeks from now.