Saturday, October 24, 2015

Day 97 - Going Downtown: Shopping and Exploring Kings Park in Perth

Oops, I realized that my sister took the trousers I lent her back home when we separated. That means that I only have one pair of lose trousers, apart from three skinny jeans - no good equipment for an Outback hike. The same hold for the old straw hat (that is actually made from paper!) that my father bought in Italy two years ago. So we did not only need trousers for me, but also two Outback Hats and fly nets. That's a good reason to take the 20 min train ride from Fremantle to Perth.

When we arrived it was already more or less shocking how much more homeless and beggars you meet. Funny "hardrock"/"biker" figures running 'round, many many street musicians making funky sounds and spreading some vibes.
While we were searching the shops we found on the Internet, we found two more outdoor outfitters right next to "ours". That was pretty cool to make a direct comparison. In the original store we bought our fly nets, in the second store I bought my trousers with removable pant legs which I don't find too pretty, but which are very useful both for the Australian Outback and the Atacama Desert, later on. The hats we found in a more tourist oriented shop. We did however not buy the "Crocodile Dundee" exemplars with crocodile teeth that clearly identify you as a bloody tourist, but the more regular Outback Hats - which are nevertheless made from Kangaroo leather. It is amazing how comfortable and lightweight a leather hat can be.    
Later on we went to Kings Park, all the way with our prey, and had a spectacular view of Perth and the Swan River. We happened to came across a tiny but beautiful Aboriginal Art gallery, where we got some impressions and inspirations. How amazing to make artworks with colorful dots. Also didgeridoos were exhibited, decorated boxes, purses and baubles ;-)

This is the 60 year-old tree that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
planted here in Kings Park, Perth, Australia, in 1954. It has grown
very tall and has been decorated with a dress, white sleeves and a
crown to celebrate the jubilee. Click here to see the picture of
the Queen planting this tree!

The Kings Park is huge, and one part of it is the Perth Botanical Gardens. The gardens exhibit local plants, many of them endangered, some close to extinction, and few even re-discovered after being believed to be extinct. Not only is the extinction or forced displacement / migration and repression of Australia's native people saddening, but also the loss of a great number of plant species. The Botanical Gardens systematically cultivate endangered species in order to regrow them later. 

This large Baobab tree (Adansonia) was prevented from logging in order to build a bridge. The over 700 year-old tree stands now safely in Kings Park. In Western Australia there seems to be a growing awareness of preservation, maybe because people here are more surrounded by the wilderness than in other areas of Australia or other developed countries. Many product packages we bought online at Coles were made from recycled plastic, and people plan to ban plastic bags or voluntarily refrain from using them. When we refused to use a plastic bag for our bought fly nets, the cashier put 20 Cents from the cash register into an extra box which was already almost full. The money would be donated to a charity organization for a good cause.

These beautiful birds concluded a wonderful
day in Perth. About ten Lorikeet Parrots as
well as a pink-grey cockatoo were hanging,
eating and whistling above us, providing many
perfect photoshooting opportunities

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