I’m on a tour. Not a touristic tour, but a Buddhist one. My teacher visits this part of the world once a year and I decided it was time for me to explore a bit more of my new country. So a few months ago I booked all my flights and for the next 25 days I’ll be away from home (except for the Sydney part of the tour).
This is day 1. I got up at 5:20 and had what I suspected could be my last healthy meal until the end of the tour: soaked chia, flax and sunflower seeds, cashews, peanut butter, 2 small bananas and cinnamon.
The Qantas flight to Perth departed from Sydney at 8:10 am. Around 10 am we were served breakfast. The hot option was a roasted pumpkin frittata and the less popular cold option was cereal and fruit juice. I was afraid they would run out of hot brekkies because I was sitting in row 52, but luckily that didn’t happen. The frittata, which had potato y turnips apart from roast pumpkin, was served with a slow roasted tomato half, cooked spinach and a thick slice of bacon. It was very nice, and very filling in spite of its looks. Breakfast also included a small cup of processed orange juice, a peach and mango fat-free (but loaded with sugar) yogurt, plus a bread roll and butter that I didn’t touch. I had a cup of coffee too.
In my (limited) experience, Qantas is very preoccupied about keeping its customers well fed. About an hour after breakfast, the flight attendants offered some bags of snacks (dunno what it was), and about an hour before landing, a yogurt/cereal bar and water. IMO, that was more than enough for a 5-hour flight.
We landed around 10:30 (Perth time, 3 hours earlier than Sydney). I got my suitcase and bought a ticket for the shuttle bus to Fremantle. It’s a 1-hour ride, which I spent sleeping, so I didn’t get to see much of the city. The bus left me at the B-Shed, where I caught a ferry to the Rottnest Island, where some people have been for the last 2 days enjoying the beach (and meditating, of course!) while our lama works in his new book. I had a quick walk around to check out my lunch options and settled with Tasty Express, the cafe located right in the B-Shed.
The other options, for the record, were two cafes located in the E-Shed: a very informal one (in the edge of dodginess) that serves chicken schnitzels, pizzas, etc., and another one that serves cafe fare and Indonesian food.
Tasty Express serves breakfast until noon, plus Italian-influenced food for lunch. The menu has a few typos and expensive prices ($28.50 for a steak, for instance) but I guess it’s the price you have to pay for the convenient location.
Anyway, I ordered a smoked salmon salad after confirming the serving size with the waitress. It was essentially a garden salad (mixed leaves, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, red onion, green onion) with avocado, smoked salmon and a balsamic and lemon dressing. It was very generous in size and in the amount of salmon and avocado. The dressing was delicious and a few threads of lemon peel gave it an extra fresh touch, much needed with that temperature.
Smoked salmon salad ($17)
I waited a couple of hours more for the ferry to depart. The company is called Rotto Express and once on board I understood the name. Man, they’re fast. So fast that I got dizzy within 10 minutes. It didn’t help that the lady behind me spent half of the short journey (20 minutes that felt like an eternity) vomiting. I just closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I could feel my blood pressure dropping and weirdly my fingers got really numb and started to rise by themselves. I guess they were looking for some blood.
Finally in the island, I walked to where I was told to and found a note saying they were swimming in the ocean. I went over to meet them, then we headed back to the houses, meditated, relaxed for a while and then had a BBQ with leftovers from the nights before.
If those were the leftovers, I don’t want to imagine how much food they got in the first place! There were chips, biscuits, capsicum dip, cheeses, salami, ham, nuts (almonds, macadamias, cashews) & dried apricots, salads with lettuce, rocket, tomato, sun-dried tomato, cucumber and feta, cous cous, quinoa, tuna, eggs, pasta with a meat & vegetable sauce, baked beans, guacamole, and BBQed sausages, steak and eggplant. Oh! and gelato cake, because we celebrated a birthday.
I was lucky to have so many options that I was able to eat lots of salad, good fats and protein while skipping the grains and junk. I didn’t drink a single drop of alcohol and went to bed fairly early.
Shop 1, Peter Hughes Drive
B-Shed Ferry Terminal