Phase Two of my adventure Down Under began with an afternoon flight across Western Australia, along the edge of the Kimberly Range, across the Great Sandy Dessert with its long parallel red dunes, over white salt lake beds, above deep open pit gold mines, finally landing in Perth with downtown skyscrapers silhouetted against yellow orange sunset clouds.
No longer in the tropics, a coolness came with twilight. Camilo rolled up to snag me and off we zoomed, catching up on events since we last met in Colombia almost a year and a half ago. We headed for a dark wood pub called The Flying Scotsman where Lee was awaiting us with a pint. Almost as soon as a jug was brought to our outdoor table Robert Tait arrived and promptly ordered one more. We swapped travel stories of Laos and Kazakhstan and I told of life in Sri Lanka. Lee described the road trip he wants to make in the coming weeks celebrating his fifth decade.
We were nearly the only customers: it was Monday night after all. Some of us had to work in the morning, so after some dinner we cut off our session and Cam drove me back to his apartment in Freemantle, with one stop for a majestic view of the glittering city from King's Park. It was twenty two years ago I visited this area with Crazy Jeff and Sophie and it's hard to recognize it now.