Saturday, 17 March 2012

Ulladulla to Nowra

Bloody awful day. My Couchsurfer wasn't at home and (much, much worse than that) the miniature poodles nicked my chocolate supplies! I foolishly left (virtually a whole) 350g bar of Dairy Milk unattended in the bedroom with the door open. The combined weight of both dogs couldn't have been much more than this bar and I hope they were very, very sick. Because it was still raining in the morning, a light day's cycling lay in front of me and it was the weekend, Bruce gave me a tour of the vicinity. Highlights included beaches, beaches and yet more beaches; there was something for everyone, from wide open, white sand, naturist type to the rocky/rock pool naturalist variety. We also watched Waz Spoons and his wiry, bearded friends competing in a longboard surfing contest. Bruce showed me a Rick Stein restaurant, pointed out high and low socio-economic areas (he's a doctor) and took me to a seafood restaurant in nearby Milton. We would have stayed later, but his desire to play pool was thwarted by all the tables in the local pubs being in use. I'm easily led and would have carried on drinking and fraternizing with my genial host until late afternoon, as I only had a 40 mile ride. I left at two and the rain stayed away, although it remained relatively cloudy and cool (ie the equivalent of a Scottish heatwave). Chocolate rations replenished, once again it was the highway or no way, but this section was happily quieter, with pleasing undulations, deviations, and the wind whipping me along. Kath had taken 15-year-old Gemma to a daytime party in North Nowra, where I was heading. Because there is practically no public transport here and it wasn't worth driving there and back twice, Kath stayed there all day. What a lovely Mum!

Nowra is a fair-sized, dull, non-touristy town and it was here that I
knocked on the door of a couple who weren't in. They had previously briefed me to contact them on the day in case they weren't about (didn't they have a diary?) which of course I had done. I continued to phone and leave messages, but no response was forthcoming. So, I shelled out $90 for accommodation... Pleasant Valley Motel was anything but (white bricks) although the old lady on reception certainly was - when I couldn't get the wi fi to work she lent me her own laptop! It was a bit strange to half-watch a complete stranger's photo gallery slideshow on screensaver, while also half-watching TV. During the walk into town I heard a small boy shout from a car, "Help! I'm being stabbed in the heart!" Obviously this was not the case and he was only suffering from an over-active imagination. In the noodle take-away the lady asked me twice what I had ordered and then pointed at the picture in the menu to make sure she had the right order. They still got it wrong, although I didn't discover this until back in the motel room. As I cheered myself up by gorging on Dairy Milk, a few mosquitoes gorged on me, but such is my level of pacifism I couldn't kill them (apparently human blood is too rich for them and they die anyway). Watched two typical French films, heavy on passion and craziness; as well as a teenage post-apolyptic Ozzie drama called The Tribe, which is Mad Maxesque, only with the most wooden acting I have ever seen.

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