Day 115 – Perth’s Northern Beaches
The morning was spent relaxing (we haven’t done much of that recently!) and working on my resume etc. Haven’t touched that for a while now (with good reason). If anyone has any contacts in London for control systems engineering, let me know!
We missed out on seeing Perth’s beaches last time we were here. I’d spent all week trying to get things done (Risa’s visa and other things to be repaired) that by the time we had a free day, the weather had turned miserable. But, it was a beautiful day today, so rather than sit at home all afternoon, too, we borrowed a friend’s car and went for a drive.
We decided to check out the northern beaches, starting from the south working our way north. First stop was North Fremantle, funny enough, just on the northern side of the Swan River from Fremantle. It seemed nothing like the Fremantle that we spent so much time at last time we were here. There were still the older buildings, but it was much more of an industrial port area.
I got a little excited when we drove past the Matilda Bay brewery. I don’t drink much beer (again, not by choice, my body just doesn’t like alcohol), but I do enjoy some of the Matilda Bay beers, specifically Fat Yak. I did a couple of u-turns and parked at the brewery. Something didn’t look right about the place, and I had a feeling that they probably didn’t do tours here. We got to the front door and there was a piece of paper stuck to the inside of the window saying that they had moved and deliveries should be sent to the new address. We could see a little through gaps in doors/windows and the place was basically empty! Not what I was expecting at all. I’m guessing they’ve become more popular recently and have had to move to a larger scale premise…
Anyway, the brewery was on the hill, and we had a good view of the Indian Ocean (again, I thought we’d said good-bye to that when we left Margaret River area). It was a beautiful sunny day, and the water looked beautiful.
…but, when we got a little closer to the beach at North Fremantle, it wasn’t quite so nice. Apart from all the sea grass, there was the huge industrial shipping port in the background that kind of ruined the beauty of the place…
We kept driving north, trying to stay as close to the ocean as possible. We drove a little further and came to another nice looking beach at Cottlesloe. This time there were dozens of surfers braving the cold waters (it was funny watching them getting in, even with their full wetsuits, those first steps certainly didn’t look comfortable). We saw a large crowd of people standing on a rock pier, so, being the lemmings that we are, we went to see what was going on (to be honest, I was planning on walking out along that pier anyway).
I don’t know what I was expecting to see (a seal, maybe), but I certainly wasn’t expecting to see a humpback whale only a hundred or less meters from shore. This whale was just taking it easy, slowly cruising around the beaches. At one stage, it was really close to a large group of surfers, which must have been pretty amazing for them. But, after nearly an hour of watching it, waiting for it to do something ‘cool’, we decided to push on and see some more of the beaches.
We continued along the west coast, sticking as close to the water as we could. Around Cottlesloe it reminded us of Bondi (but without the crowds and shops). The further north we headed, the more it started to remind us of the Gold Coast. And, it wasn’t just because the waves were big and rough like they so often are at the Gold Coast, the beach was quite similar, as were the high rise (though, much, much smaller) buildings. This is the kind of ocean that I enjoy swimming in, something fun and a little bit violent. A nice calm, flat bay is nice if I just want to cool down and relax, but it gets boring pretty quickly.
We drove a little further, then decided we’d had enough exploring and made our way back to our friends’ house. Since our van doesn’t have an oven, it’s great to make the most of an oven when we can. So, with a little convincing to Risa, it was lasagne night again! Oh, and every night here is a onsie party night.