Photos thanks to Paul Clark & Ellie Hamilton
Our Western Australian contingent went on Wild Goose chase back in July, enjoying an early morning run on Sunday the 21st.
WA Quokka Talk: July’s Early Morning Run from Guildford to Wild Goose Café
Sunday 21st July 2019
by: Paul Clark
photos: Paul Clark & Ellie Hamilton
Sunday the 21st of July dawned cloudy and threatening rain, so on arriving at Guildford station, our traditional meeting point, I was not surprised to see fewer cars than usual, with all roofs firmly in place for once.
A total of five intrepid Club members’ cars were present. Four Series 3 Elises of varying fettle and a very nice Series 2 Exige, all ready to roll. After some chat and comments, route plans and radios were distributed to each car and we set off for our run.
Western Australia is blessed with some great driving roads just a short drive from the Perth CBD. The early stage of the trip took us out through Helena Valley and Darlington as we climbed out of the coastal plain and up into the hills.
The roads were damp but progress was brisk. Crossing the great Eastern highway, we turned left onto Park Road, recently resurfaced, but you’d be hard pushed to notice. This ribbon of tarmac snakes through a forest road running along the edge of the Darling Scarp. The views are breath-taking, but that’s for the passengers – the drivers’ focus is elsewhere, on the road ahead, the feedback from the chassis and the inputs and adjustments of steering, brake, clutch, gears and throttle.
A kangaroo hopped out on the track just a few meters in front of the lead car. I braked (love the way these cars stop), avoided incident and continued, calling out the presence of ‘Skippy’ on the radio to the following group. Park Road was dispatched with no further marsupial sightings.
A left turn and we were off and climbing again, via Oxley, Victoria and Roland Roads to Boyamyne via sinuous well-surfaced roads with climbing, sweeping corners. Then a fun section through ‘Wedgetail Circle’.
Next, some quick and interesting long sweepers through Highlands, Hidden Valley road, Hawkestone and others – more open corners and no traffic, this was all very enjoyable.
The route continued, good roads, next to no traffic, allowing us to enjoy the cars and with safe progress. The next section of the route took us up Reen Road, which starts as a fast and open road and then as it progresses, throws down some crests, adverse cambered dips and tighter corners.
The addition of some rain, some spray and changing grip conditions made it more interesting, but progress continued, with the cars and the drivers lapping up what the route and the conditions had to offer. Reen gives way to Reserve and Berry Roads, part of a number of favoured routes for the Lotus WA crew.
Berry offers fast open sections, linked by tighter off cambered corners, to increase the ‘difficulty’ level. Next up Bailup and Burma Roads, to bring us to our comfort break at the town of Wundowie. After a little cool down, some banter in the sheltering lee of a toilet block (classy), we jumped back into our cars and continued our run.
Via Coates Road and Great Eastern highway, we turned onto Oyston Road for a blast on a relatively straight section of tarmac, then right onto Inkpen, which offered more swoops and challenges to rejoin Great Eastern Highway. From there a new section of roads, recently scouted, which offered some interesting diversity, before dropping us back out onto Toodyay Road, for a short blast up the main highway, to our final destination at Wild Goose Café in Gidgegannup.
The restaurant was a great venue to finish our trip, with a massive open fireplace and a lovely roaring fire. We sat ourselves on the large couches adjacent to the fire and enjoyed conversation and drinks, before taking our final seats at our table and enjoying a welcome lunch.
When you own a Lotus, for me, it feels like every day is Christmas. Christmas in July at Wild Goose Café after a fun and successful EMR – icing on the cake.