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What better way to unwind after the high-octane excitement of World Superbikes than to spend a couple of days at my all-time favourite holiday spot – Mallacoota, on the north-east coast of Victoria.
I try to go there for some chill-out or writing time once or twice a year, and stay at the Adobe (Mudbrick) Holiday Flats. This time my buddy Katt came with me.
The new mosaic wall at Adobe
The ride from Kilcunda was cold, wet, windy and gloomy – yay, no sun in our eyes! It was a loooong ride though – and eventful at times – like when Katt had to drop her dacks in the main street of Leongatha to remove some uncomfortable knee-armour:
and being tailed by cops from the moment we overtook a Winnebago on the highway just near the turnoff to Mallacoota. (We may have been just a teensy bit above the speed limit at that brief point).
It was a relief to arrive, finally, at our little flat overlooking the Mallacoota Inlet. Too tired to do anything much apart from grabbing some Chinese takeaway, eating dinner and making the beds, we had a relatively early night, after contemplating at length why the cops had merely tailed us instead of taking our licences away and making us walk home. We decided it was either (a) a miraculous reprieve, or (b) they were amusing themselves by messing with our heads. Mallacoota is a sleepy little town, after all – what else is a cop to do there?
Tuesday was superb – the King parrots, rainbow lorikeets, galahs, firebrow finches, fairy wrens, satin bower birds and a host of other feathered and furry critters got our day off to a raucous start under a gorgeous blue sky. Katt dragged out the waterpaints and we did pretty much nothing for a while. Bliss!
Our hosts, Peter & Margaret Kurz, greeted us like family as always, and told us we would be certain to see lyrebirds around. It's always a special treat to spot or hear a lyrebird in Mallacoota. So we went looking.
Disaster! On the back road behind the holiday flats – a dirt track – Katt dropped the glasses she'd hooked onto the front of her shirt, and we walked back and forth trying to find them, tracing and retracing our steps several times, without any luck.
On a sunny day though, there are better things to do in Mallacoota than looking for dropped specs, so we donned sunnies and went exploring.
And yes! We saw lyrebirds! One magnificent male, his tail feathers swishing behind him, crossed the track only a couple of metres in front of us before disappearing into the bush and flushing out a couple more. They're such funny looking birds – a bit like big-eyed brown chooks, with their big ungainly scratchy feet and a funny head-bobbling gait – but oh, those tail feathers!
When the shadows lengthened a bit we thought we ought to have a last desperate look for the dropped specs – in a different sort of light they might be a bit easier to find... They weren't.
But Mallacoota is a magical, miraculous spot, and the glasses found us! Combing through the undergrowth in exasperation, we eventually gave up and stopped, forlorn and with eyes downcast. There, about 3 inches in front of my feet, almost invisible amongst leaves and sticks, were the glasses!
Every time I go to Mallacoota I feel renewed, refreshed – more alive than ever, but in a mellow, serene way – and it's always a bit of a wrench to have to leave. At least we had glorious weather for our respective rides home on Wednesday, or it could've been unbearable.
After a law-abiding ride to Cann River, Katt and I went our separate ways and each had wonderful rides back to the Real World. Sigh... Can't wait to go back there – next time for a whole week!