What better way to end the school hols than a ride with friends to my favourite place? Originally we were going to ride to Bright in Victoria, but the accommodation there was all booked out, so we decided Chez Betty in Mallacoota would be a lovely alternative.
The ride down, via Cann River, was lovely, although it was rather warm. I chucked a Mr Bean by the roadside, removing my thermal undershirt without removing my (over)t-shirt. (Deb, pls forward photographic evidence of this marvellous feat!)
It was baking hot in Mallacoota and the March flies were biting. This was the only blot on an otherwise fabulous trip. We visited the community markets and my bikie buddies bought me a housewarming lizard for the back porch (ta heaps guys!) Going to Betka Beach on our bikes was, er, do-able but not comfortable – the beach itself was magnificent, but donning bike gear afterwards, over sandy bods and feet, ensured I looked like the proverbial beetroot by the time we got back to the house. This is because I dare not ride without all my protective gear – call me silly, but with my history of falling off my bike… Note to self: a car is a useful thing for such activities. When I live there full-time I will have my car on hand for chauffeuring duties.
Cruising the bottom lake, which is enormous, on the 100 year-old ferry, the Loch-Ard was brilliant – a running commentary by George (the Captain) and chat with Pam (the Admiral) complemented the stunning views – and I don’t have enough superlatives to describe the majesty of the sea eagles. We learned that they are quite fussy, and saw for ourselves that they prefer mullets (the fish, not the haircut) to mackerels.
At home again, the roos in the back paddock were entertaining, the night sky was unimaginably starry, the wine was abundant and I befriended a rather large visitor (see pic) who liked the carrot I dangled over the back fence.
As the hostess, I felt I should stay behind to wash the sheets & towels etc, so bade farewell to my fab travelling companions on Sunday. It was roasting weather, so I imagine their ride home wasn’t very comfortable – but it only took an hour for the washing to dry, which was nice!
Peter and Margaret from Adobe Mudbrick Holiday Flats, treated me to a lovely dinner at The Tide on Sunday night – many thanks, my friends!
The high winds of Sunday arv continued overnight and when I woke on Monday morning, all ready to pack and head for home, there was already 13mm of wet stuff in the rain gauge, and more falling from the sky. Naturally, my wet weather gear was in Canberra, where I had discovered that a certain cat (I’m not certain which cat, mind you!) had peed on it and rendered it stinkily unwearable.
What to do? Stay another day? (but it’s back to school on Wednesday!) Ride home in the wet and get my lovely leather jacket all soggy and disgusting? (yuk, and clammy…) Go into town and look for something waterproof? Brilliant idea! I waited for the rain to lessen a bit, loaded the bike, locked up and headed to the hardware shop. I bought myself a bright orange waterproof, which would probably get me barred from the Harley-riding fraternity, and which pretty much guaranteed an immediate stop to the rain, and a sauna all the way to Bombala. Well, most of the way – I was glad to have its sauna-inducing properties on the high parts of the Imlay Road, when I rode through some very cold, very low cloud.
Speaking of the Imlay Road – now the roadworks have been finished, it’s a brilliant run again. 60kms of sweeping turns, and in that whole time I only saw 6 logging trucks, one campervan and one Forestry ute.
In Bombala I removed said waterproof, pretty much guaranteeing I would be rained upon, and continued home. A few random raindrops hit me when I was about a kilometre from home.
As I close the door on Mallacoota - for a few weeks, at least - and face the inevitable, imminent return to school for a new academic year, I feel rested and revitalised, ready for the challenges of 2012 – one of which will be to lose the blubber that I found over the holidays!