Day 1 - In which there are disasters and knights in shining armour.
Holy dooley, it's May already – a third of the year has gone somewhere(?!)
I've felt down lately – really down. My creative juices have dried up, along with my sense of humour, and I've been in danger of becoming a Grumpy Old Woman. Well, more of one than I already am - my brief moments of charisma and sparkling wit have been on the endangered list. I have become Betty Misery Guts.
I had to do something, and quickly, before I was mired in a morass of misery, drowned in a slough of despair or perturbed by a perpetual pity-party, with me as the guest of honour. Slouched at my desk at work early last week, not even vaguely cheered by the best view in Canberra, it hit me like a bolt from the blue – I haven't done one of my sanity-saving solo rides all year. No wonder I feel like crap!
These trips have a beautiful simplicity, with only 3 rules:
1.I go alone.
2.I take the laptop (or, at the very least, a notebook and pen).
3.I stay overnight somewhere for at least one night.
The thought of an adventure pepped me up better than a shot of Vitamin B12 or an icy cold cider on a hot day. I googled for accommodation on the NSW South Coast and booked myself a self-contained flatette at the Inlet Views Motel in Narooma – and I just cannot begin to tell you what a difference it made to my mood! Anticipation is a wonderful thing.
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A beautiful ride in perfect weather, and at the other end of it, a cosy getaway and some quality time alone with my own thoughts, gorgeous water views and a fired-up laptop. This is Betty-heaven.
It was all going according to plan until I got to the Inlet Views motel.
See – Narooma is quite hilly, and the motel is on a blind corner on a steep road. It has a steep driveway from hell leading onto a sharp left turn on the aforementioned blind corner, and – yep, you guessed it – the Bomber decided to lay down on the way out of the driveway after I checked in. The damage – yet another indicator; a snapped clutch lever, bent bar-end – and OH NO – I've bent Clem the Hose-Clamp Wizard's beautiful handiwork... The fix he did on my broken gear-shifter last October is now as bent as Julian Clary. Sigh. And I'm 230kms from home. Did I mention the motel is on a steep blind corner?
The carload of young blokes that screeched to a halt to avoid squashing me flatter than Britney Spears before her boob-job was a godsend.
“You all right mate?” said the first young knight to leap out of the car.
“Yeah, nothing hurt except my pride”, I squeaked, drawing myself up to my full 160cm and trying to look as tough as a 160cm biker can, who has just fallen off coming down a driveway. Shit. The other blokes got out of the car, realising the fallen biker was female.
So there I stood. Stupid unco Betty and her fallen Bomber, surrounded by three wiry, tattooed young guns in dark glasses.
I confess, I said some bad words. The lad called Jeremy wheeled the bike to a safe place off the road, while the one called Dave stood in the road to stop anybody coming along and flattening us all. And THEN – the one whose car it was, whose name I never did find out, drove his mates to a shop in town that sells bike parts. About ten minutes later these tattooed total strangers were back with a shiny new clutch lever for the Bomber, which they even fitted for me.
The kindness and humanity of total strangers is staggering at times. It's very touching – all the more so when it comes from unexpected quarters. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I'm serious.
Thank you Jeremy. Thank you Dave. Thank you, nameless tattooed young man with the mullet and the car. You guys were great – true knights in shining armour.
So – a very Betty adventure so far, complete with disasters. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
Right now I'm sitting in my lovely flatette at the Inlet Views, soaking up the inlet views and the afternoon sun, feasting on rice crackers, dolmades and camembert (with a glass of red). Ana Moura (one of my favourite fadistas) is warbling away in the background - does it get any better?