Thursday, October 04, 2007

4 October 07

The plane from Hong Kong was 2 hours late leaving due to early-morning fog at Perth so it was an 8 hour wait in total last night - finally touched down in Perth 0900 today. The bike arrived OK but the box was quite well-bashed with a large hole in one corner - luckily the blow missed the bike itself because there was no damage. No real hassle with immigration, although I did get asked whether I'd been in a foot and mouth area in the UK, which I hadn't; and the guys doing the quarantine check got some bits of the bike out, but quickly realised that I'd done a good job cleaning her up and fitting new tyres, and let me go. That still took a couple of hours in all though.

I asked where I could assemble the bike and was directed to some cardboard skips where I could recycle the empty box, and I found a shady spot nearby as the sun was rising in the sky and things were warming up - about 22 deg c or so, nice. I was getting somewhat dehydrated already though because I'd forgotten to refill water bottle and there was nowehere near open for drinks.
About 1230 I set off to cycle the 20km or so into the city. Most of this was not too pleasant - lots of traffic and traffic lights / road junctions, however the last 4km was along the Swan River cycle track well away from the road. To be honest I was too tired / hot to enjoy it (I didn't sleep at all last night on the plane)
I found the YHA place I'd booked in for 2 nights (2 days in Perth to get the bike / baggage sorted out and buy a tent etc) and it was 1530 by the time I got to the post office to collect my 15kg parcel I'd sent on (to avoid 30 pounds a kilo excess baggage). However it was not there - just a letter from DHL about a 'Customs problem' - they may want some duty off me. My understanding was that you needn't pay this if you take the stuff out of Australia again after your stay. Anyhow it was too late to contact the Sydney phone number to see what it was all about - I'll have to wait till tomorrow.
Cooking dinner was a bit stressful what with 12 other people trying to cook at the same time - only for 2 nights though.
So all in all not the greatest start, but then the feeling of tiredness is getting to me - I'll sleep well tonight I hope despite the 24-hour access to the hostel.