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During my travels, my compensation for free accommodation for one night, was for me to write a daily travel diary. Of how I got to my next location, the people who would host me, the food I was offered and everything else. Below you find the archives of the highly extensive reports. Know that English is not my native language and most reports were written at high speed around midnight. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 23 July 2002
Peppermint Grove --> West Perth, Australia

I slept in very late again today, but I wasn’t the only one that was still in bed. From the other room I heard Emma coughing her lungs out again. Ouch! Ronda helped me out with some cereal breakfast and I got myself behind my computer again.

Today I’d spent most of my day sending out emails to people that might be able to help me out in crossing the Nullarbor, like radio stations and some journalists from my address book. It made the wheels turn a bit, because all kinds of folks out there were forwarding my quest of help to their friends and colleagues.

And yes, I had luck again!

I called the chief executive manager of the Great Southern Railways, department Indian Pacific, on his private mobile. I got his number through a few journalists (you got to love them!). It is always difficult to someway disturb somebody with a request for help. The man on the other side of the line wanted to know all about my project, but after a lousy thirty seconds he told me that “we would let it pass on. Sorry.” There went my hope for a lift on a train. Bummer. But I can’t have it all, of course! At least it was worth a try.

Today I’d move on my next place to stay in Perth and as I was more occupied with getting out of Perth, I had not really contacted the few other invites that I had left in Perth. I ended up contacting Greg James again (you know, Minke’s husband from Pemberton, who works and lives in Perth five days a week). He had told me personally that I could also crash at his apartment in Perth if necessary.

I gave him a call. Two hours later Emma’s mum dropped me off in the middle of the metropolis of Perth on the corners of St. George Terrace and Mill Street. I had thanked her and Emma for their hospitality (again).

As Greg was still working ‘till late today he gave me a self-drawn road map and some money to get the bus to West Perth. That’s where I arrived some half an hour later, around 5.30pm. Just outside his apartment I got a phone call from ABC Radio Perth, who talked about my project and plugged my request for a ride east on air in the program Drive.

Just when I had settled myself in Greg’s little and empty apartment, I got another phone call, this time from 96FM, one of my personal favourite stations in town. I spoke with the producer of the afternoon show who told me they had just talked about me on the radio. Oh really!? And somebody had called in, offering me help in getting out of Perth. Oh really?!

And the news was out. The sales manager of Greyhound/McCafferty’s Express Coaches in Perth, David Kinray, heard about my expedition on the radio and had called to the studio to tell them he “wants to offer me a free ride to Adelaide”!

Wooha! I was happy of course! The producer gave me his number and called David. He was delighted to help me out and he even had seen my website. “I have a bus leaving tomorrow at 3.30pm.” I was thankfully speechless. “Wow, thank you. Wow. Really.”

When Greg came home from work around 8pm I told him the good news. I got my way out of Perth eventually!

To keep things simple Greg offered me to eat out somewhere and to celebrate my last meal in the west of Australia. We ended up in Northbridge, the nightlife area of Perth, where we meandered up and down streets, looking for a place to eat. Most places were closing their doors at ten o’clock, which was a big unreal surprise to me. Even fancy pubs closed their doors at ten! It was only Tuesday night! What is this for a sleepy town?

We ended up eating noodles with fish and chicken in a Vietnamese restaurant and drank a Grolsch beer (the best beers are from Holland, hehe) at the Universal Bar where a fascinating entertaining funk band was playing. They even sounded like the new Talking Heads for a while, really good. It was still a bit strange, because there were almost more members in that band than visitors of that bar. I guess the Perth nightlife is more visible at the end of the week.

Good night Perth, for the last time!