The Waifs and Australia Day with a bunch of foreigners!

Perth Travel Blog

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The day after I got back my good friend Emily invited me to go camping in a small place called Gracetown in the South West (hereafter referred to as SW). Before I went down on Sunday I had a 19th... hungover is not my first choice for a 4 hour drive but c'est la vie! On Sunday night a Perth band called the Waifs, who happen to be awesome if you are into folk/country, were playing at a Winery (ironically named the Leeuwin Estate for all you Dutchies). I reccommend you ALL check them out because they are fantastic and deserve a listen.

So; concert ticket, sleeping bag, 2minute noodles and a bottle of vodka and I'm off into the country. I love driving in WA, as soon as you leave Perth you pretty much drive through the bush for a good 150km and there really is very little out there. Of course, there are towns and farms but I must remind you that when I say farm I mean a block of parched land about the size of a small country. The landscape is beautiful in a bare kind of way. Mostly brown grass dotted with a few shade trees with some gasping livestock camped out underneath them.

The very best part of roadtrips are the roadhouses. They consist of a petrol station, couple of picnic tables out the back and a cafe and/or deli stuck on the side. They sell the most fantastic array of things but generally include: soft drinks, newspapers, meat pies, vegiemight, tea and ice. They may also include weirder items like crab nets, hammocks, bird feed and of course condoms. This is the best invention in the world and the best quality ones are family owned so you should stop and buy a pie to keep them in business because they are a dying breed. My favourite is the Lake Clifton Roadhouse-at-the-centre-of-the-Universe. They make the BEST steak sandwiches ever. No joke! They have had a pet pink and grey Gallah with a horrible temper since forever. I swear this is the oldest bird in the world. The people are friendly and there is a bit of shade to sit and relax after hours of staring at the road.

Luckily for me, the other girls had gone down a few days earlier and set up so I got to relax, have a beer and some mee-goreng and get changed for the concert. Leeuwin Estate is really beautiful and if you get the chance I definitely recommend it. Their huge gardens are the perfect place for a concert. The set up was fantastic, plenty of parking and heaps of space to chuck a picnic rug down and enjoy a $20 bottle of white from their own gardens. There was a dance area marked out at the front of the stage and we definitely hit that later in the evening! The atmosphere was perfect, relaxed and genial. The two pre-acts were great . A jazzy first act followed by a reasonably well known American folk singer. It was a great evening!

The next morning we all packed up and Emily and I drove into Busselton to Phat Sam's Backpackers and Pineapple Farm (note: not really a farm). It is walking distance from the centre and the beach and Sam is a great man. Laid back to the point of motionlessness and not overly lovable; he grows on you. We borrowed his tent and camped out in the backyard with some others. The 20 bed hostel fills up quickly, especially in Summer when there are several music festivals in the SW. We spent all day drinking and hanging out with all the other residents, only one of whom was Aussie.

After a sausage sizzle dinner we played some drinking games and then a few of us wandered down to the beach for an evening dip (the sun doesn't go down 'til 9pm remember). Drunken injuries ensued as we all ripped ourselves up jumping off the barnacle encrusted jetty. Good fun!! I cracked my head under the jetty so I was left with a lovely egg-sized bump and a scab for a week. Emily got stung by a jelly-fish, thankfully she was numbed by vodka so all she had the next day was a red welt the size of a banana! 

My quietest Aussie Day since I came to Australia; it also happened to be the most fun I've had in a long time. Though if I ever find the Irishman who drank my entire Litre of Smirnoff I'll skin the bastard!

More soon!! CHEERS!

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Posted on: Sep 20, 2010
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