Sunday, October 08, 2006


We've loved everywhere we've gone so far; this is just an unbelievably beautiful and varied country. The capital cities all have a distinct identity, geopgraphy, and feel. Hobart was like a New England fishing village. Sydney a southern hemisphere NYC, Adelade like a big Santa Barbara.

But I have to say that Perth is really primus inter pares. Not quite sure why (and I certainly don't mean to downplay the beauty or hospitality that we've enjoyed wherever we've traveled). I was told that the city has a real buzz -- they're in the midst of an unparalleled boom, fueled by China's insatiable thirst for resources. The money is just pouring in, real estate prices have doubled in the past couple of years, and there is construction everywhere.

One of my hosts, a University of Western Australia professor named David Denemark (who -- another small world story -- spent nine years in Milwaukee as a kid), is a real Navy junkie. The US Navy makes frequent ports of call in Freemantle, and he's well enough plugged in to have made 11 (I think) carrier fly ins, where he lands on a carrier and gets VIP treatment. His pictures were unbelievable. I spent a little over a year working for the Navy as a civilian contract specialist in the 1980s, so we had a lot to talk about.

One of my goals in coming here was to take a picture of the sunset over the Indian Ocean. I thought that would be very cool.

And it was:

The landmas is Rottnest Island, about 13 miles offshore.


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