Swan Valley Posted on Saturday, June 28th, 2014 at 4:42 am. My first day on the West was spent in a winery region located only 20 minutes away from Perth. I couldn’t believe that such a vast area could be so close to the city. We checked in with the Information Centre to get the low down and grabbed ourselves some brunch from a quaint cafe then decide to start the day off with a hike. We drove unpaved tracks to a hinterland gem known as Bells Rapid. Almost seems peculiar that: 1. A winery valley exists in a metropolitan area 2. White water rapids and a hiking track placed on a background of endless green mountains exist within this winery valley After trudging through various beauties of grass types and many selfie attempts, we moved on with our day. My stomach grumbled in excitement. We stopped by at a few wineries and trialled some of their finest reds and complimentary cheeses. I’m pretty sure most wineries on the East charge for tastings right? Daniel bought some bottles of Lancaster wines, which apparently is quite well known locally. My favourite stop was Margaret River Chocolates. I stood by the sample table and heaped plenty of chocolate into my hand over and over again, I couldn’t stop. This was the finest quality chocolate with the finest priciest prices. I attempted to blend in with a sea of Asians that unloaded off the bus and get to chose a gourmet chocolate truffle each but the lady knew straight away I wasn’t part of the crew, dammit. I stocked up on a few items then headed to Provodore to load up on tastings of curds, chutneys, liqueurs, marmalades, sauces etc. It was delicious and I couldn’t resist spending $15 on a jar of onion & thyme marmalade. I ended my first day on the West at a hockey club annual party held in the middle of nowhere with the weather below 0. It reminded me of high school shenanigans but I still had fun. Perth is friendly.