After breakfast at the hotel, we walked the 2.5 miles to the Perth Botanical Garden. We had planned on catching the city bus at a stop a block from our hotel directly to the Park, and saving Pat's walking capabilities for the huge garden. Perth's annual City to the Surf Run occurred at 8am, and bus services were suspended until noon. So we headed in the direction of the Park, and asked the very many standing around city workers how to best get there. We took advantage of lots of benches along the way, especially those on a staircase popularizing a famous battle on Papua New Guinea in which 1,100 Australian soldiers held off 5,000 Japanese troops in WWII. Marking each segment of the battle, a nice bench with a description of the event has been placed at an appropriate distance up the stairs.
Fortunately, the busses began running again, and we returned back to our hotel at 3pm. After some pain-killing drugs, we'll start to get serious about planning our next three weeks on Australia's Southwestern coast. We bought some books on the area's birds and flowers at the Botanical Gardens, and certainly were inspired by the flowers we saw there. Tomorrow afternoon, we'll take the city bus out to where we pick up the RV to head out of Perth.
Just waking up on Sunday morning in a downtown TravelLodge in Perth, Australia. We've got a day until we pick up our RV, and head off north. Pat's reading the Press Democrat online, and I'm beginning to remember our visit to New Zealand.
As readers know, our travels have always contained a healthy component of family history. Pat and I come from adventurers who seem to have taken risks to explore new paths for their families. Following their travels makes the places we visit more real, and their experiences more imaginable.
My grandfather on my father's side, William Walker Fearon, left Cumbria in 1909 with his older sister (Marian McArthur Fearon), and her husband (Gordon Clark Stronach). My grandfather departed the group in Arizona, where Gordon took a job in the copper mining industry. After a four-year enlistment in the Army in the Southwest, my grandfather ended up in Ray, North Dakota, where he eventually rose to be the Police Chief.
But this is the story of the travels of the Fearon family to New Zealand. Gordon and Marian were cremated in a cemetery I visited on Friday about ten miles southwest of Auckland, New Zealand. The cemetery also contains the grave of Marian's younger sister, Rebecca. Nearby are the graves of Charles and Roger Fearon, who died in 1921 and 1929, almost fifty years earlier. With that information, I have begun to explore online records. I'll report back when I have more of their stories.
On Friday afternoon, we visited Fearon Park, the last home of my great aunt, and a local cemetery, and you can view them online (Looking for Dead Relatives). The cemetery is huge (200 acres), and I appreciate the Auckland Council staff for their assistance in locating the information on my family.
On Saturday morning, before our flight to Australia, we drove to a nearby Maori and European settlement which has been occupied for over 800 years. The architectural and botanical expertise exhibited by Maori landscape designs is overwhelming, and deserves a more detailed explanation in a later post. You can see the photos I took in an album titled (Aotearoa - the original Maori name for New Zealand).
We're packing today for a ten-week trip to Australia. After a barbecue with Zivolichs (newest PLHS grads to Sonoma), and season-ending rounds of golf tomorrow at Windsor and Tuesday at Indian Valley, we'll take the Sonoma's AirportExpress to SF International on Wednesday.
Thanks to Ken, Dianne, and Dusty for coming up from LA. We hope the garden gets even more gorgeous with the fall colors. We'll post what spring looks like north of Perth in the next couple of weeks. Here's a Google Map with our route and points of interest.