Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Wedge and Leederville

We’ve had a fairly quiet week this week, mostly based in Perth with lots of beach time and revisiting Scarborough, Trigg and Cottesloe beaches. The weather has been glorious, albeit very windy thanks to “The Doctor”.

The highlight was freedom camping in Wedge at the weekend. Now, I need to be a little bit secretive as Wedge is somewhere only locals, or people in the know, know about so I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s a stunning area of sand dunes and sand bar just off the highway north of Perth.

Just moments after turning off the highway – and accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles – is a stunning beach, or rather a sand bar, of white sand with clear, turquoise water on both sides and connected to Wedge Island at the end (so called because of the wedge shape of the island, I presume)

There are no facilities like toilets, showers, or electricity and just the supplies you take with you, including drinking water. Camping is not technically allowed but the rangers apparently turn a blind eye so long as you’re tucked out of the way in between the sand dunes.

Kev and I got to try out Gemma and Sean’s roof tent, for the luxury camping experience! It is not only more comfortable than a traditional tent, but its being raised off the ground means any animals or snakes can’t get in (not that we saw any!) It’s also much easier to put up – just a case of unfolding it and extending the ladder.

Jess and Darragh also came with us and are probably the most organised campers I have met. They have ALL the gear and all the best gadgets, including a portable camping Nespresso machine and camping chairs with back support. It was quite an impressive experience as camping for me has always been a very minimal experience, making do with as little gear as possible. It just goes to show how comfortable camping can be if you’re prepared (and have a big 4X4 to pack all your stuff into!)

Making the most of the well stocked camp, I made pancakes on the beach for everyone. 

In the night we had the most impressive view of the stars, being so far away from the glow of the city and street lights and in the morning, when we woke up, we saw emu tracks alongside our vehicles, so we were truly in the middle of nature.

Emu tracks
Speaking of nature, Darragh told me that he was watching out for sharks whilst I was in the sea swimming – apparently, this is the place you’re likely to get sharks of the coast of West Australia! Fortunately, no sharks made an appearance, though I did make sure I swam close to the shore for the rest of the trip!

I think it’s easy to forget how many dangerous creatures there are in Australia – you don’t see much by way of spiders and snakes etc, but there are apparently scorpions in the sand dunes, red back spiders hiding under the edges of wheelie bins – a reminder to always shake your towel before using it if it’s been hanging outside, or to check your shoes for spiders before putting them on. I do hope we see out our time in Australia without encountering any of the above creepie-crawlies, or bigger dangerous animals!

Back from Wegde and with Kev’s birthday on the horizon, we went out for dinner with Gemma and Sean in nearby suburb, Leederville, where there’s a trendy street (a bit like Upper Street in London) packed full with restaurants, cafes, bars and interesting boutiques.

During the summer they run the ‘Leederville Food Safari’ where you get your starter, main course and coffee and dessert in three different establishments and a tuk-tuk transports you between the restaurants. 

We had a delicious Asian theme starter and main and ended up in a coffee shop for coffee and cake. Absolutely stuffed, we could barely finish our dessert – especially Kev who opted for a smoothie/milkshake instead of a coffee – but it was delicious and a fun experience. 

We even found a bottle of wine by a wine makers called Kerrigan (and Berry) so we thought we’d better give it a try – very nice it was too!

For Kev’s actual birthday we are off to Margaret River for the next few days. A few hours south of Perth, Margaret River is another wine-producing region and we are very much looking forward to visiting some more wineries. I’ll update you when we’re back in Perth.

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