My first port of call after Pemberton was Augusta, right on the southwest coast of the continent. I drove to Cape Leeuwin lighthouse, the most southwesterly point of Australia, and the only place where you can see the Indian Ocean to your right, and the Southern Ocean to your left. After climbing the lighthouse, I headed north to Jewel Cave, and went on an hour-long tour of this most amazing sight. There are about 150 caves in the southwestern tip, four of which are open to the public, and they are stunning, much better than the ones I saw in Naracoorte in South Australia. I would have liked to have seen them all, but the prices they charge are not exactly cheap, so I went for the most picturesque. The other highly recommended one, Lake Cave, has a huge underground lake, but I'm far too scared of dark water for that... that's one phobia I still have to conquer.
I then realised that not only was there precious little between me and Perth except for roads and holiday resorts, but it was also Good Friday, and every man and his wallaby was heading south for the weekend. The logical solution? Go into town for some peace and quiet, and it worked. I arrived at Fremantle (a suburb of Perth, effectively, though the locals count themselves as a separate town) on Friday night, and found it totally dead, completely empty, and with plenty of vacancies in the camping ground. I've since found out that the only two days in the year that Australian pubs close are Good Friday and Christmas Day, which might have had something to do with it.
It's now Easter Saturday, and I've had my first taste of Perth in the form of Fremantle on a Saturday. The sun is out, the market is swinging, and the atmosphere is cosmopolitan, chic and quite wonderful. I'm going to get a beer in one of the wonderful pubs (or 'taverns' as they call then in Western Australia), and I'm going to pamper myself. I think I could fall in love with Perth; I might get a job here for a couple of weeks, but I still have to move on before too long if I'm to see northern WA. But that's a whole new adventure, and I've got me some city dwellin' to do first.
Isn't this fun!