Sunday, May 3, 2015

Busselton to Fremantle ~ Day 5

Our Holiday started again!
~ Busselton to Fremantle

3rd May 2015

With the Half Ironman done, it was back to holiday again.  On the morning of Day 5, we checked out of Mandalay Resort and drove that 200km+ back up to Fremantle, a fishing port city very close to Perth.  Our plan was to spend a night there.

1. To find out more about our continuing holiday on Day 5 from Busselton to Fremantle, continue reading on.
2. To start from the beginning of this wonderful trip (Day 1 and 2) click here.
3. To laugh yourself crazy seeing how the boys did their Open Water test swim (Day 3), click here.
4. To go back to the Busselton 70.3 Race day, click here.
5. To view the rustic old buildings of Fremantle & our journey to Joondalup ~ Day 6, click here.

On that last morning in Busselton, we drove out to that single McDonald's for a last nice breakfast before making our way out of Busselton.  We'd have loved to tour with our expert Navigator-cum-chauffeur-cum-wetsuit-sprayer Jeremy.  But too bad he had to fly back the next afternoon.

Jeremy was taking a flight the next afternoon back home.
[Click to enlarge] 

Serene always tried to be stylo mylo.  And this cold weather made it even easier for her to do just that.
[Click to enlarge]

Post-Ironman, the Giant needed to replenish his lost reserve.
[Click to enlarge]
We bid good bye to this delightful little town by the sea.
Darric: "So how? Are we going to come back next year for the winter Busselton Ironman 70.3 again?  Francis sounded like he is very keen leh."
Gerard: "Ok Onz!"
Me: "Onz!"
Serene: "ONZ!"
Siao liao lah, all these fellows.  I think they all tiok the Busselton gong-tao!  I couldn't remember if Jeremy also tiok gong tao or not. Hahah...

Bye bye Busselton.  Hello Fremantle!

About 12:30pm, we finally arrived.
[Photo: my iPhone]
A few turns, and we drove right to the end of a wharf.  The guys managed to get a booking with one of the very unique, almost boutique-like hotel called Be.  It was something like I'd never seen before.  I could only imagine what the building used to be in the olden days - a sort of warehouse right by the wharf in this port city - now converted to a rustic-looking hotel with beautiful big double-storey untis with huge rooms and a huge living area, opening out to a varanda facing a dock of yachts.  
Parked our cars just outside in the public car park for A$1.30 per hour, paid through a ticketing machine, and walked towards our hotel Be. [Photo: my iPhone. Click to enlarge.]
Me buying parking tickets.. The Fremantle sun was so bright that I had to wear a double of my Ryder's sunglasss and my A$12 Petrol station 老花眼镜 just so that I could see what I was buying.  Photo by Gerard's iPhone

We were so attracted by the oldish-looking building of bricks.  It was as though we were transformed back to those old days of seamen and fishermen vessels.
Serene just had to give her pose a go.
[Photo: Leica M9P with Summilux 35mm. Click to enlarge.]
Walking into the hotel, we were delivered right into the narrow pavements that used to serve the various warehouses.
A maze.  Serene and I got lost and couldn't find unit number 58.
[Photo: my iPhone. Click to enlarge.]
"Wow, it's really very nice!" exclaimed Serene.
And Darric wasted no time in taking a few shots from our living area.  Scenes like these I only got to see from postcards.
Darric enjoying the view. [Photo: my iPhone. Click to enlarge.]

"OK, let's just dump our luggage and let's go for lunch.  We will leave our cars parked here first and we walk that 500m to the nearest restaurant for some seafood lunch that Fremantle is so famous for.  After lunch then we will drive one car out to the Factory Outlets to shop."
So the plan was made.  And we were off for lunch.
Even Gerard found the architecture fascinating and couldn't help recording some scenes on his iPhone.
[Photo: my iPhone. Click to enlarge.]

Gerard's work of art.

Photo: Gerard's iPhone

The monument at the side of the wharf, as we walked in the nice cool breeze to the restaurant.  It was sunny, as it was midday.  But it was dry heat - totally not humid - and the wind was nice and somewhat cold.  I brought along my outer jacket, but I didn't need to wear it.
Here was a nice shot of Serene and myself by Gerard on his iPhone.
"Wow, Dar!" cried Serene.
"Simi?" I asked.
"After your Ironman, you look so different! So.. like.. stylo!" she said. Yah yah yah...

[Photo: Gerard's iPhone.  Click to enlarge]

[Photo: my iPhone]
A group photo at Fremantle.
Click to enlarge.

Lunch at Cicerello's
We walked in the sun to this (apparently quite) famous restaurant called Cicerello's.  Definitely its location and its surrounding was very interesting for one like me, who was totally new to sights like these.  Seagulls inundated the dock and the poles out of the water and they were everywhere.

Seagull Language - by Gerard Tan's iPhone.
The seagull said: "No No No No.. No, No, No..." [Photo: Gerard's iPhone]

Serene looked just like a movie star!
[Leica M9P with Suilux 35mm f/1.4 wide open + ND6 filter.  Click to enlarge.]
This place was so lovely for photography.  I simply couldn't get enough of shooting with my Rangefinder! 
Click to enlarge lah.

The noisy bunch of seagulls were at times, rather aggressive too.  

[LeicaM9P with Summilux 35mm f/1.4 wide open + ND6 filter]
And Jeremy suddenly looked so movie-star-ish too in this dreamy setting, absolutely dashing in his Ironman T-shirt and sunglasses.
[Leica M9P with Summilux 35mm f/1.4 wide open + ND6 filter. Click to enlarge.]
"Wow.. Darric looks so sat-sat!" said Serene.
[Leica M9P with Summilux 35mm f/1.4 wide open.  Click to enlarge.]
Gerard was really the best. He was the treasurer.  Every day buy food buy drink buy this buy that.. all using his Ah Gong's money.  But of course, jokes aside, this method of travelling was great - we would pool a set amount of money and he would pay for all the expenses.  That made things much simpler - meals, grocery shoppings.. and all that.  We started doing it this way with Gerard when Serene and I first started travelling with him.  And we'd stuck to his suggested method since.

Gerard ordering all the food at Cicerello's. [Click to enlarge]
"The food's actually pretty ok only lah," said Gerard.
"Yah lah.. so so only lah," said Serene.
Darric and I ended up walloping the fish.
[Photo: Gerard's iPhone]
[Photo: Gerard's iPhone]

[Photo: Gerard's iPhone]
And again, all kinds of Australian alcoholic beverages. Photo by Jeremy.

Factory Outlet at 840 Wellington Street

"Hey Debbie said we must go to the Factory Outlet in Perth to shop leh," insisted Serene.
"OK let's go!"
And Jeremy was our navigator-cum-chauffeur as he programmed the address 840 Wellington Street.

And it was really not far from Fremantle, this Wellington Street being somewhere in Perth City, and easily accessible by car.  The stuffs at this Factory Outlet were really at discounted rates.  We managed to buy quit some items at deep discounts.

The down feather jackets 800 and 650 at Kathmandu were of very reasonable prices.  In addition, the trekking boots at Mountain Designs were about A$80 each pair. In addition, the 2XU wear were cheaper than elsewhere.  So we took the opportunity to stock up a bit.

Out gathering point - Gloria Jean.

Kathmandu and Mountain Designs side by side.
"Buy buy buy!" said Darric and Gerard.
"Don't buy, don't buy. Buy, buy!" I resigned.
[Photo: Gerard's iPhone]

The IronMen went buying buns
"Wei... let's buy some food for breakfast tomorrow," said Serene.

The weather in Perth was mostly rainy in the afternoon.  And this day was no exception.  But that made it so much more enjoyable.

Dinner in Perth
We were really funny.  We came all the way to Australia and somehow we kept looking for Asian food.  On this night we came upon a Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant and we just popped in.

And most of us ordered Vietnamese Beef Pho for our dinner.  The portion was huge, but...

... somehow the boys were still hungry.   After dinner and we walked next door for some dessert!  See beh jiaklat!

Here was a time lapse video of me , taken by Gerard, trying to capture some street scenes outside the Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant on my foldable flimsy tripod.  But unfortunately the pictures didn't turn out well.

[Time lapse video by Gerard]

That Night...
The wind was howling when we arrived back at Be. Hotel.  We stepped out of the car only to be held momentarily stationary by the strong gust of wind.  Jeremy and I looked towards to see and we were shocked to see how much the sea had swollen.  And the swells were, to tropical boys like us, pretty scary.
"Wow.. Jeremy.  If we had swum in such wave on the actual day of the race, I would have DNF-ed right in the sea." I quivered at the thought.
I had a video, taken with my iPhone, of the dock just outside our balcony.  It didn't reflect the wave that we saw from the front side of the hotel, for this was a sheltered dock.

Sometime during the night, it rained heavily and I woke up to the cacophony of chains and ropes banging on mast poles, and fibreglass hulls knocking on wood. 'Tiak Tiak Tiak, pong pong pong.." the music of Fremantle went on through the night.
I got up for a very short while to enjoy the rain and the scene,  and then very quickly fell asleep again.

Click here to continue the story From Fremantle to Joondalup Resort ~ Day 6.