Auf Wiedersehen Australia

Old Apr 25th, 2015, 05:40 PM
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Auf Wiedersehen Australia

Well, it’s that time. We’ve been very lucky to have had six years and eight months in Western Australia, but alas, all good things must come to an end. The nq8’s are leaving Perth and retiring to Colorado.

A fair amount of stress, uncertainty and chaos lay ahead, but it’s not as if we haven’t done most of it before.

When we arrived in Perth in 2008, we felt as if we’d won the lottery, having lived in the garden spots of Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and dare I say it, Texas. We’d visited Western Australia a few times from Indonesia, and the prospect of living in a place we’d vacationed...well... you can imagine our glee.

Despite the culture differences (or because of them), we’ve grown very fond of WA and I can honestly say for the first time in years of work assignments, that I will truly miss a place.

Sure, there are some things I’ll happily leave behind, like the incredibly annoying, intrusive, crawl-up- your-nose-into-your-mouth-and-ears black fly and the abundant snakes, spiders, bugs and ants, many of which seem determined to kill or maim, or at the very least, wreak havoc on fingers and toes (mine in particular). And you can keep December, January, and particularly February, the longest short month ever. I definitely will not miss the Australian summer.

But how I’ll miss the birds; the more raucous and colorful the better! And the parks...I’m already mourning my daily dawn walk in the massive regional park at my doorstep. Perth has done a phenomenal job with its city parks, which are abundant and well maintained and some even come with kangaroos!

I’ll also sorely miss the incredible fresh produce and long lazy wine-infused lunches...I can’t remember the last time I felt pressured to vacate a table. And on the subject of wine, there’s no denying that I’ll miss the Australian grape and the people who turn it into fabulous drops, christening it with names like He Said She Said, The Little Bitch and Fat Bastard. What’s not to love?

We’ve made a concerted effort to see as much of this massive state as possible during our time here, making road trips as far north as Exmouth, as far southeast as Esperance and as far inland as Kalgoorlie. We’ve scrunched up our noses at the merciless red dirt and scrub of the north and interior, stared agape at the pristine white sand and transparent aquamarine of WA’s beaches and bays in the southeast, and fallen head-over-heels in love with the forests and fairy wrens of ‘our’ beautiful southwest, repeatedly visiting our favorites, Denmark and Pemberton.

We’ve explored and walked in just about every National Park, Nature Reserve, Regional Park and open space we’ve come across. We’ve made countless trips to the Swan Valley for beautiful lunches and for freshly roasted beans ground to order at our favorite coffee house. We’ve consumed copious amounts of curry at our local BYO Indian restaurant and a gazillion flat whites at the ubiquitous cafés. My other half will most definitely miss Aussie Eggs Bennie and I have to wonder how on earth I’ll cope without melting moments and savory muffins.

We twice visited our closest neighbor South Australia, where we explored the numerous wine regions, the Flinders Ranges, Fleurieu Peninsula, the Limestone Coast, and my vote for most unique Australia country town ever, Coober Pedy.

So good-bye to the laughing kookaburras and the screeching little corellas. Goodbye to the ‘roos and quokkas. And good riddance to the suffocating summers, flies and bugs. Good-bye Australia ; you’ve been good to us; we’ve had a brilliant time.

Melnq8 is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2015, 09:10 PM
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Ah buggar it Mel, now you've made me cry, I don't do that too often. See you later, mate! Xx
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Old Apr 25th, 2015, 09:31 PM
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While "Auf Weidersehen" means "goodbye" in German, it literally translates as "to see again". So what you are saying is, "Until I see you again, Australia".

If your experience is anything like ours was, you will be back for a visit sooner than later. (After we moved away, it took us less than a year before we went back to visit!)
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Old Apr 25th, 2015, 10:47 PM
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Mel, I had the same reaction as Bokhara and had a lump in the throat for a moment there. We have never met , yet I feel I know you after reading so many of your coments here. So glad you are leaving with a ( mostly ) positive feeling about our country and you painted a lovely picture in your tribute to OZ. I am sure we will still see you on the Forums. Glad you enjoyed it. Safe trip home !
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Old Apr 25th, 2015, 11:56 PM
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Old Apr 26th, 2015, 12:46 AM
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Thanks, Mel for all your Aussie input on Fodors . . . sounds like you'll be a fantastic walking advertisement for Australia for years to come! Di
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Old Apr 26th, 2015, 02:38 AM
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You will be missed from the Australia forum. Your reports and comments are so helpful to other travellers.

Safe journey.
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Old Apr 26th, 2015, 04:13 AM
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You have done us all a great service, Mel, in sharing your enthusiasm for WA (and NZ). Your willingness to explore and enjoy whatever you come across will stand you in good stead for your future travels. Do let us hear of them!
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Old Apr 28th, 2015, 06:20 PM
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Hi Melnq8, we really enjoyed experiencing, through your writing, your love and appreciation for your time living in WA and your many visits to NZ. It's obvious that you really cherish your experiences! We hope that, after you get settled in CO, you'll have the opportunity for your spirit of exploration and appreciation of nature (as well as good coffee and wine!) to continue in the US. There's so much beauty in Colorado alone, where the Rocky Mountains soar, wild life is in abundance, and hiking opportunites are all around. We've enjoyed our many trips to your about-to-be new home. One big positive: you can travel pretty much coast to coast in the US without those oh-so-long flights!!!

You were so helpful to us in planning our visit to AUS and NZ. We're sure that your experiences will continue to provide valuable information to others on the Australia forum!
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Old Apr 30th, 2015, 07:00 PM
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Thanks for your help on my past trips to that area,Mel! Welcome back to the USA!
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Old Apr 30th, 2015, 10:05 PM
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Mel your words are beautiful - thank you. Thank you also for meeting me whilst I was in Perth - what a wonderful lunch we had at Jamies Italian. It was a real pleasure to meet you.

I wish you all tthe best for your return home. a while crocodile!
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Old Apr 30th, 2015, 10:08 PM
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Can't say much more - tearing up along with Bokhara.
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Old May 1st, 2015, 12:48 AM
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See ya Mel - what a lovely goodbye from you.

Have a safe journey and a good return home - and do come back sometime.

Thank you for all your wonderful writing about Western Australia - I have not lived there for 42 years (lots of visits in the early days away) but it is still my birthplace and'home'.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 06:15 PM
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My sister, her husband and I will be visiting Perth for 4 days in early October. What's the name of the Indian Restaurant you liked so much?
We live in Colorado and if you enjoy the outdoors, you'll love it here.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 06:33 PM
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Hi Trish -

The Indian restaurant is called Angheti - it's in Padbury, which is off the beaten path for most visitors, but they also have a location in Innaloo near Scarborough Beach and also a sister restaurant called Dhaba right at Scarborough Beach.

I do indeed love the outdoors - we're from CO originally, but man it's changed since back in the day. Currently recovering from a hellish move week, jetlag and adjusting to the altitude. Margaritas, chips and salsa to the rescue
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Old May 4th, 2015, 10:21 AM
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Trish's sister here.

We'll send fond thoughts your way while we're in Perth, especially when we're at the Indian restaurant.

In your thread "Repatriation Blues" there is talk of a GTG with other Colorado folks, after you've settled a bit. Please do it, either in Colo Spgs or Denver.

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Old May 8th, 2015, 09:16 PM
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Will miss your wonderful trip reports of Aussie and NZ. Hope that things settle down in Colorado and you have lots of fun exploring the surrounding regions.
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 01:00 PM
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I missed this as I've just returned from the snow , etc., of the Rockies.

My reaction is exactly the same as Bokhara, Peteralan and Stormbird - so sad to see you go - and keeping an eye out for your return.

Have fun!
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 04:08 PM
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Thank you Margo.

I hope you had a good trip and that the weather gods didn't torment you too much. The weather here on the Front Range has been downright bizarre - we've barely seen the sun since we got here and the car swallowing potholes are shameful.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2015, 04:24 PM
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Oh, no, Mel. I am going to miss your beautifully-written reports and your suggestions of places to go to, what to see, and things to do when there.

Enjoy your retirement. Life takes on a different perspective when retired - a leisurely, pleasant life doing the things you have always said you would do but never had time for.

(I have just seen this after toing and froing from Havelock North (where we now live) to Wellington.)

Take care. Kia kaha.

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