This morning it was clean-out-the-camper day, and we did our usual thorough job with basins of warm sudsy water for the inside and a further wipe down on the outside for good measure. The reward for all this work was that we avoided a cleaning charge when we returned the van. Considering we put on 4,700 kilometres in our two weeks of travel, some of it on the hard-packed red dust that passes for roads in many parts of the country, that was no mean accomplishment.

We caught a cab from the rental place to our hotel, and were pleasantly surprised by how nice it was, and how well situated, right down by the water beside a lovely little park. We also found out that the hotel had guest bicycles, much to our delight. We quickly dumped our stuff in a small, but pleasant room and borrowed a couple of bikes to explore the city. Bike paths line Perth, and we were able to ride through the park and down to the pier for a coffee and a lovely view of the harbour. From there we were able to catch a ferry across the harbour for three bucks. On the other side we continued to cycle down the path to the golf course, where we crossed the bridge and cycled back into a stiff wind to our hotel.

Perth is a beautiful city, with great views of the harbour from many places around town, lots of parks, and bike paths everywhere. The air is so clean and dry after the cloudy haze of KL. That dryness comes at a price, however. We learned that Perth had not had a single drop of rain for the entire month of December. The tapwater here, as in every place we have visited in Australia, is so chlorinated it is virtually undrinkable. We had supper at the hotel and watched the firework celebrations in Sydney on television. That was about all we could manage for New Year’s. Hope yours was great. We are exhausted!