We woke up day three, with a plan to go and pick oranges. This time, we were in no rush at all to go out and we took our time and had a light munch. We knew where we are heading and at this place to pick orange and erroneously put ‘Orange’ and ‘Grove’ together.
So we punched in ‘Orange Grove’ into our GPS.
And started a whole new adventure!
You see, there is no ‘Oranges’ in Orange Grove, Perth Australia.
I vividly remembered, during my initial recon on Google Map in Singapore that the orange picking place was about 20 plus minutes drive ‘up’, and I totally forgotten about that when I punch in ‘Orange Grove’ and drove 30 plus minutes ‘down’, way down to a place called Kalamunda.
The plan was to head for Kalamunda to have our breakfast then head to ‘Orange Grove’ to pick oranges. So off we go!
It was like day two, a nice drive, and the trip to Kalamunda took us uphill, that is where the i20’s puny engines start to show strain, the pick up was slow going against gravity, but it was still manageable, I’m on holiday and there’s absolutely no rush. Except that we are all heading towards the wrong direction!
We found the ‘shopping belt’ in Kalamunda and parked our car, by then we were famished as we walked around hunting for a late breakfast, and we found Chatterbox Coffee and Juice Bar. It was a nice quaint cafe with a nice warm Perth service. We got our breakfast, although the wait was a little too long, well, any starving soul’s wait for food will be too long!
We got ourselves a nice platter of food, and this ‘Everything Burger’ which was everything you have on a breakfast on a burger, the harsh brown, egg, bacon and cheese, stacked in between a burger bun. Not bad actually. Your mum, on the other hand, learned a new dish called ‘Avocado Smash’ and it looks exactly like how it sounded. She came back to Singapore and did a dish like that, which tasted not bad.
After breakfast, we settled in for a stroll, the day’s warming up nicely with a good chilly breeze. Kalamunda is a hilly place and there’s slopes everywhere, which makes a good hearty walk.
After our trip, I cam to realise that Perth isn’t too big on escalators, other than those we see in the Airport, the other one we traveled on was in Kalamunda. Well, perhaps, it is Singapore who is crazy over escalators!
We went through the shopping area quickly and headed off towards Orange Grove, at the same time, stopping by a petrol station to get a top up for our little car. The drive around Kalamunda is quite a breeze, as it is off the main city area, we headed downhill, meandering down a slight gradient. It was a clear day and from that high point, we can even make out Perth City from that distance. It gave us a good sense of how vast the land is and we can never get this kind of view in Singapore, as the skyline is mostly peppered with buildings, antennas, bridges and other structures.
We didn’t lost our way, while we enjoy the scenery, thanks to the ever-so-reliable GPS voice guiding us, we can never be lost! Or so we thought!
‘You have reach your destination.’
I look at your mum and she looked back at me. Right in front of us is a junction.
No nice farms.
By then panic has set in a little but we simply cannot stop at the junction to find out what’s wrong. we drove ahead and found a little side road, park to figure out what went wrong.
Finally, we realised, yes, the GPS brought us to Orange Grove, where we should be going to GOLDEN Grove, which is at Chittering Road, more than 40 minutes drive away.
What a way to start day three!
So without delay, we drove off! heading back towards Swan Valley, and towards Golden Grove.
It was a very different view compared to Kalamunda, we were heading back to Swan Valley and the familiar greenery filled our view, but with a long more rolling plains, cattles and magnificent views.
It was a nice car-less drive, there was not car in sight as we head deeper towards Chittering Road, the whole landscape has changed as we head out and away from the more tourist centric main Swan Valley belt, where traffic was heavy with RoadTrains and other vehicles. But the drive into Chittering Road was scenic, relaxing and you can just cruise.
This time, with the help of the GPS lady, we found the right destination.
We all got so excited we get to ‘work’ immediately. The orchard was right behind and it is nest on a slope with an array of orange. The topographical map shows the range of oranges all over the farm. It was a climb and we didn’t made it to the top, where the creme ala creme, Berri Valencia 12 are planted. We realised that when we headed back, those top range oranges were already harvested. Heng ah!
The deal was we can gather 2.5kg per adult,at AUD 4 per kg. We have 2 adults, so we must gather a minimum of 5kg, which makes AUD 20. Well piece of cake, or so we thought!
Golden Grove is after all a kind of touristy place, and these tress are meant to be plucked by inexperienced hands, tourist hands. much of the oranges, the better ones has been plucked. And as with anything in nature, things are random, we really need to climb, clamber a bit to find the good ones, the nice ones. Some are taken by birds, others not ripe, or some too ripe, rotten. Overall, the quality of the fruits are still good. The nice cool weather helps as well, with a cool breeze cascading down the slope, there is really little to complain about the laborious work.
We went back after a good hike to only find out that we only did 3.2kg! WOW.
So the nice lady there took some from the stock and top it up to make up the rest of the 1.8kg. On top of that, we get taste some really nice, freshly juiced oranges. I also bought this very yummy bread spread called ‘Lemon Butter’. Your mum bought raw honey comb. Everyone left the place happy!
Our next stop was a Nougat place, this is one of the more touristy place called Mondo Nougats. It was along the Swan Valley spot and we have rush there before they close for the day. Good thing we reach there 30 minutes shy from they closing time, 5pm.
We did a quick round of shopping and bought quite a few items (almost AUD300 worth to be exact!) as gifts for our friends and families. From there we need to know what we can get for dinner as Australia tends to close early for the day. The kind folks at Mondo directed us to Ellenbrook where there is a couple of large supermarkets where we can grab our dinner.
We did much better than the night before and managed to buy Sushi, a roasted chicken, a bunch of instant noodles. Going there also allow your mum to reprise her ‘aunty’ role, by shopping through the aisle, looking at the groceries and stuffs. We had our fill before sleeping, knowing that we had a fun-filled day.
The good thing with free and easy holidays like this, is that we are completely unhindered by tour schedules and group timetables which we need to stick to. The error which brought us to Kalamunda, helps us explore other parts of Perth which we might not have went, as it was really off our tangent.
We look back and was glad to have gone there, learned a couple of things and now your mum came back with a new dish, Avocado Smash!