Life in paradise

World's smallest penguins

World’s smallest penguins

Perth, Australia’s sunniest capital enjoys more than 3000 hours of sunshine a year !  We can only dream of that !  No wonder that it’s all about lifestyle over there… sunshine, beaches, picnics & cultural activities in a city overlooking the sparkling Swan river, Kings park & the Botanic Gardens.  Same thing in Rockingham, a small town south of Perth with a bunch of outdoor activities and a mecca for eco-tourism by being a home to a riot of bird & marine life.  The Shoalwater Island Marine Park is particularly alluring with oceans that shimmer in a palette of varied blues.  The park contains a chain of ruggedly islands that are used by over 50 species of sea birds for nesting.  Penguin Island is the biggest island in the park and famous for having West-Australia’s largest colonies of little penguins… the smallest in the world!   Wild dolphins & sea lions swim are to be found now and then at Seal Island.  the white sandy beaches & colourful reefs are perfect for swimming & snorkeling but the ocean is also the perfect spot for windsurfing, kitesurfing & kayaking.

Jen's famiily

Jen’s famiily

And that little paradise was home to my couchsurfing host Jennifer, her 2 daughters Charleah & Jemeika & the cutiest dog ever… Mimi!   Jennifer is a professional cook and was in formation to be a professional yoga teacher as well.  I remember she was so passionated about Spain because of her family.  And not any family… Jennifer’s ancesters appeared to be royals back in the days but her grand-mother fled that life and came here to Australia to start a new life in the early 30’s.  it was fascinating to hear her talk about her family.  Charleah, her 8 year old daughter was abolutely lovely too.  Full of life, sparkling, enthousiastic, funny… Just adorable!  And so was her 17-year old teenage daughter Jemeika, who was slightlier calmer.

Fremantle

Fremantle

Fantastic memories… relaxing at the beach, a lot of sunshine, delicious home cooked dinners, playing soccer in the garden with Charleah, …  Jennifer & Ray also took me to Fremantle, a town nearby at the mouth of the Swan river, founded in 1829 & treasure trove of historic Victorian buildings & artwork with streets that have remained unchanged since the mid-19th century.  We had lunch in the popular restaurant/bar/brewery ‘Little Creatures’ and strolled in the historic town afterwards.

Perth

Perth

On my last day in Rockingham, Jennifer took me on Pinguin Island across beautiful Shoalwater Bay Marine Park where you can spot worlds’ smallest penguins.  Penguin Island is home to 1200 penguins who are naturally shy and spend most of the day feeding at sea or hidden away in the burrows.  The park abounds with other wildlife including wild dolphins, sea lions, stingrays, pelicans & over 50 species of seabirds. Under the water there are colourful reefs & seagrass meadows.

In the evening, after a few games with their dog Mimi, Jennifer & Charleah took me to the city of Perth to enjoy a sunset in King’s Park & enjoy a last meal before I had to move on… This family touched me deeply and it was a sad moment when the time came to say goodbye…

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