Subject: Introduction - New member from Perth
Forwarded by Moderator - Welcome James and Penelope

G'day from Western Australia, I came across your site while perusing Jack Travel http://www.jack-travel.com/index.html At last, a group of people who seem to be genuinely interested in passing on travel information and experiences rather than fossicking among the some of the inane postings at most sites.

Profile: My name is James Campbell and I'm 61 yrs old. I'm originally from N.Z and my background is in teaching and horticulture. My wife's name is Penelope and she was a principal in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Both of us have adult children from a previous marriage. We've lived here in Perth since 1987. In a break from our previous careers we began renovating an old house. This became such an enjoyable change we developed other skills in building and landscaping # we#re now into our third such project.

Interests: Apart from those newly developed skills, travel is important to us. I use the internet to research and book all trips. Our interest in travel is not only for people watching but we do like to follow up on architecture, history, landscaping/gardening and any other subjects we've become aware of through a constant diet of current affairs. Penelope is an avid reader with a special interest in crime fiction/non fiction. Movies and cricket are our other special interests. Perth has a Mediterranean climate so in summer we have a number of outdoor movie venues. With most people arriving early picnic skills are highly developed and competitive.Travel: I#ll only include the last ten years or so. Within Australia we have recently driven across the Nullabor to our nations capital Canberra (for those unaware of the task involved consider five nine hour days while averaging 110-120 kph.) We have therefore some experience of the diverse nature of this country. Apart from this southern journey we have visited Sydney, Cairns and Alice Springs. Within the state of Western Australia (3.5 times the size of Texas) we have mostly journeyed the coastal routes other than trips into the Goldfields.

Family in both U.S.A. (mostly California and Virginia) and N.Z. have meant regular trips to both countries. Other places visited; Bali, Java to see Borobudur and Prambanan, touring in southern England and N.W. France, island hopped in Greece to get to Turkey. There we visited the S.W. coast, Cappadocia and Istanbul. Three years ago we went from Beijing to Helsinki by train, stopping off at Ulaan Baatar, Urkutsk, Moscow and St Petersburgh. We returned the next year to do the loop from Helsinki-St Petersburgh-Tallinn-Helsinki. Last year we toured N.W. France. In a few weeks time we leave for Floriade in Netherlands followed by touring in Alsace and Burgundy finishing up in Paris.

Anything to share? We work to the principle of staying away for as long as our budget will allow while making sure travel remains an exciting and enjoyable experience. We#ve drifted away from our backpacker days although we still use hostels from time to time. We still find these travellers are a great source of stories and suggestions. I spend long hours on the internet pursuing value for our money and consequently have accumulated a number of useful sites and background knowledge. I would be delighted to share experiences with other interested people. Thank you for those excellent travelogues on your internet site.

Regards, James Campbell and Penelope Michael Perth, WesternAustralia