Perth: The Adventures of Day Three Travellers

Perth: The Adventures of Day Three Travellers

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.

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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!

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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.

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View with Perth city in the horizon

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 oranges.

No nice farms.

No orchards.

Oh shit…

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.

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Trying to sort 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.

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Views from our car

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.

Collage_Fotor kalamunda 6.jpgWe 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!

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All sorts of oranges!!!!

 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!

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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.

IMG_1794So 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!

Mondo Nougats

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.

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Sunset at Mondo Nougats

 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.

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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!

Perth: Chapter One

Perth: Chapter One

It was the first time we fly scoot, and honestly we were a little apprehensive about it as last year, there was an incident about a Scoot flight to Perth (TZ8!) was delayed for almost a day! (Passengers unhappy after Scoot flight delayed for more than 21 hours) My friend Anny was on that flight and I asked her about it, she still gives Scoot the thumbs up. Nonetheless, we’ve already paid for it and out fate is sealed.

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Lil Ian, Surfing the luggage.

This Perth trip is quite unique, as this is our 3rd trip to Perth. The first, your mum, and I went, with your Ah Gong, Ah Ma, your Ah Gu and another of your mum’s cousins, HanJie Ah Gu. That was quite sometime ago, way before your mum and I was married. The second time was when Ian was about 18 months only. I also coincided that trip with your mum’s birthday.

What we didn’t know was, that your mum, at that point was pregnant as well, which explains a lot about her motion sickness, unfortunately, the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Well, that’s another story for another time.

Scoot TZ8- 787 Dreamliner!

This time, 2016. We are going because your 弟弟 wants to see dolphins. Our flight for 28 May was in the afternoon, so we woke up excited about the trip. There was plenty of time for us to prepare and unlike our Bali Trip which was in the wee hours, this time we reach the airport easy, chill and took a bit of makan before heading for the check in.

Collage_Fotor scoot flightThe flight was a non-event, and I prepared some ‘in-flight’ entertainment for you boys by putting up some movies in the iPad2, and you boys end up watching Zootopia and Charlie Brown the movie. It was a budget flight, so the flight is a flight is a flight, we had to entertain ourselves. And one thing I noticed, we weren’t expected to turn off our mobile device unless specifically told to do so. Wow, it’s a
Dreamliner new! The window is electronically tinted, thus there is no physical shade, which you need to bring up during taking off and landing. You can press a button and the window will go from clear to opaque to totally dark, cool!

Perth! Touch down!!!

We reached Perth 5 minutes earlier than scheduled. The first thing we experience when we stepped out of the aircraft was the chill! And it is not from the building’s air-con!  We are indeed enjoying the winter like what we’ve wanted!

The customs was a breeze and we soon got out to the airport DSC_0097terminal. The first thing we got was a pre-paid SIM card. I bought 7 days’ worth of stored value for us to use for a 5 days trip, 2 spare days for the just in case. And each day we are allowed to use up to 500MB of data, easy and more than suffice for us to travel around, post stuff on FaceBook, using the GPS to get around and checking out some stuffs on the net.

The car rental stall folks were also very friendly, and despite of Wayne being 7 years old, which technically waive him from the use of a child booster seat, but due to his small build, the chap at the counter was kind enough to lend us one, which was a good idea, as it will at least prop 弟弟 up and he can better look out of the car and enjoy the scenery.

The car we had was a small, but cozy Hyundai i20. When we stepped out of the airport, it was drizzling lightly. It was a delight as it really pushed the temperature down a couple notches more! S-h-i-o-k!!! To the max!

I went through the usual check for the rental vehicle and make sure that everything that is there is there, and anything that is not, is not. Then I tried to fix the phone holder to the windscreen, but it didn’t quite work; either the angle was wrong, or the suction on the holder won’t; well suck.

No GPS, no holiday

So we ended up having your mum hold the phone,and give directions off the GPS. She is the only co-driver your dad ever wanted.

And the GPS worked flawlessly. And without it, we would have been lost in Australia.

We made our way to the hotel, taking every turn and advise given by the GPS and reached there without any fanfare. But it was! We’ve never done a self drive, never solely relied on GPS for driving, and we have never driven in Australia! Lotsa firsts to celebrate!

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day 1 at room 155

Upon reaching the hotel, the good people at the concierge checked us in with no problem and we snaked our way from the hotel lobby to room 155. It was quite dark by then and we didn’t know what to expect from the exterior of our room. We knew the weather was fabulous and the facilities in the hotel are great. the only let down was, there’s no toothbrush. Other than that, the room is clean, sheets are nice, everything works, and most importantly, the heater works! Otherwise, it would be long cold four nights.

With that we came to the end of Day One, going to sleep knowing the next day would be a great one, watching dolphins.