It was good to be back on home turf and the thing that made such an impression on re-entry was the deep blue sky, the stars at night and the clean, white sand beaches.
It was good to meet up with friends and relations again.
We were off to Albany 400kms south in my new red WRX after our first week at home and the good wide roads and lack of traffic made it very different from most of the travel in the UK, Ireland, Western Europe, Turkey and Morocco. The roads in Scandinavia were good and also with little traffic compared to most of the other countries we visited.
We had brought our campervan home and the only downside to that was that it was ransacked on the ship on the way over and the thorough underbody clean done prior to leaving the UK was substandard and had to be redone.
Once we had put that behind us and had the vehicle licensed, a gas and electric conversion done to comply with Australian standards and regulations we had it on the road again.
We visited friends in Lancelin overnight which had us travelling 125kms north to a seaside holiday town which also made us appreciate the tranquility and lack of people and traffic.
We undertook a major renovation of kitchen, laundry and added a breakfast bar to our house and had a few repairs (a new hotwater system)to do.
We had a few parties to connect with old and new friends and were able to show them what had been our home for six months for the previous 5years. We were amazed at the amount of construction which had taken place in the form of apartments and road/bridges and general improvements since we had been away. In places it was like being in a different city. We were tourists in our own city and we were impressed with what had been done with the centre of the city with a new development on the river.
We got the house back to our home again after having tenants for 6years and decided to have a housesitter when we went away again. The nice woman was the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Commissioner of Police so it was in good hands.

Our itchy feet and the desire to miss the winter in Perth saw us fly on the 14th May 2018 to Bali for a relaxing two week break. A friend Carol picked us up and came with us for a few days and we stayed on until the 30th May, meeting up with Perth friends who happened to be there, our friend Steve in Penestanan, our Russian friend Ksenia with her partner Feisal and lovely baby Fyodor, and my old friend Gustu in Seminyak.
We had one night in Singapore and decided to stay close to the airport (15minutes by taxi) at D’Resort on the East coast of the island overlooking the South China Sea.
We arrived in Chennai on the 1st June and stayed at our usual Grand by GRT and had a wonderful meal at the very innovative restaurant JHind in the hotel. We were collected by Amalraj our driver in the afternoon for our 3hour trip down to Pondicherry.
It was good to be back to Gratitude again. The weather was very hot 35degrees and very humid so it took a couple of days to aclimatise especially riding around on our bicycles in the middle of the day. The airconditioning was a welcome respite at first but we found the fans were a much better option when not too hot.
We had a day’s trip to Gingee King’s fort and managed to climb the 1200 odd steps to the top and the girls also managed the Queen’s fort which wasn’t quite so steep.
Maurice and I had a quick 3day break at the end of July to the Chettinad part of India about 5hours by car south east of Pondicherry. It was truly amazing to see the mansions, some restored, some being renovated and some in disrepair due to lack of funds of the present owners, descendants of the original Chettiar wealthy family who made their money mainly in Burma and the far east. We stayed in three different restored mansions and they were all beautiful.
The 3months in Pondicherry went at some times too quickly and at some times too slowly. The large amount of work I was trying to achieve and dealing with the staff took it’s toll so that I was glad to say goodbye on the 28th August. I did complete most of what I set out to do in the tasks I was given so it was with a sense of satisfaction when I left.
It was also good to connect with several friends we had previously made in Pondicherry and some newly found friends. We will miss them but know we will connect again somewhere in the world or back in Pondicherry when I return in February 2019. Maurice will go to his Ayurvedic centre then and then join me in March or go home and do some work!
During the stay Maurice got a new job with a previous supplier of ours and good friend. They worked together for many years so it will be an easy transition to do what he does best – sell something he believes in. It is a part time position and he can choose his hours which will sit well around our continuing travels, the main feature of our lives.

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