Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lac Marion en Velo

Bon jour!
Well, we have had a busy couple of days!
Yesterday we hired velos (bicycles) and cycled to a big lake with lovely parkland around it. This was a bit of an adventure, what with driving on the right, the non accessible footpaths and lots of one way streets. The real clincher, though, was having to go round a round-a-bout anticlockwise.
Some of the narrow sidewalks even had trees growing in the middle, making cycling even more of a challenge!
After the biggest hill of my life we did get there and spent a lovely midday wondering around and taking photos. In the afternoon we hired boards again (brand new 8'2 NSPs) and headed out for a surf. The conditions were worse than they looked from the beach, but we did manage to catch the window where the onshore conditions glassed off and we had some nice shape for an hour or so as the tide came in. Plus more swell :)
We surfed from 5-7pm and you'd swear it was about 4pm when we got out. So bright here + the daylight savings makes it pretty ridiculous.

Everything happens later here. It gets dark at 10pm. People eat anywhere from 7-11pm. They party til 4, which they can do, because work doesn't start 'til 10am. You can't get breakfast until 10 - when they bring out the tapas and vin for lunch! The first buses are at 10! This morning we had an appointment for a massage and had to get a taxi because we had no other way of making the 'rendez vous' on time.
James on 'le ponton' on Lac Marion
The massage. We both had our first experience with shiatsu today, which was nice, but not as good as a regular one. I espied a Spotlight like fabric store opposite the beauty salon, but when we went to check it out, it was closed from 12-2 for siesta!

After our massages, walking back to the bustop, we went through the shopping mall for the region and discovered... the biggest shop ever!! It's like Coles, Kmart, Liquorland, Retravision, JB hifi and a vaccuum cleaner shop all rolled into one! You can buy whiskey, a cured ham, bikinis, a new mobile and have your bike repaired all in the one shop! Needless to say, we had to run around in there for a while, revelling in the non-village-ness of it all and gushing at the price of bottled water and such like.

No surfing today as the massage has made us feel like we've already had a full work out and it was well and truly stormy with ~15knt onshore winds and rain.
Not very appetising.

This evening instead we chanced upon the night market and found something that was appetising. We gorged ourselves on Indienne!! Pakoras and samosas with spices in them! Washed down with fresh smoothies well and truly did the trick. We have come to appreciate Australia's diverse cuisine. We are just so lucky that on any given night in Perth you can have good Italian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, Lebanese, Japanese, African, even French or Greek. Everywhere we have been so far has had a pretty limited menu and no international food to speak of (Save for the hideous Italian in Athens - which we will not speak of). Tonight was the first night we've seen something other than standard, French-Basque fare.
This is a little scary, I know. The depth of field makes it look like blue screen for one. Plus my expression makes me look like something out of Jurassic Park. But would you look at the size of those hydrangeas!!
The park around Lac Marion was divided into different sections with living, growing rooms to explore.
They do have lots of great seafood here, and terrific bread, yummy berries, plus a slightly unhealthy fascination with pork. Last night we had it served three different ways, none of which included 'cooked'. A thin chorizo, serrano, which is like copper, and a third variety, which I think was basically just salty-raw. It's hard to know. They are known for chillies and have a million postcards showing bunches drying from shuttered windows, but none of our meals have been spicy. I am craving garlic and plan to cook  a meal when we get to the hostel in Spain. I only hope that I can buy garlic at el mercado!

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