Canberra to Merimbula

We set out from Canberra after having three rather lazy days, refreshed and energised. When we got there, we were pretty exhausted and It felt like Jet Lag. We slept a lot and couldn’t really get motivated. But now we were on our way again, but to where?

Our original plan was to get to Melbourne for the 16th December but Jaki had been having a conversation with our friend Julie-Ann who lives in Melbourne and they were discussing different date options.

We knew we needed to travel south and we knew that 300 Kilometres was a reasonable distance to travel on these roads on any given day, so we were looking for some where to stay that met that criteria. We chose Merimbula.

The journey down through Cooma was probably the best drive to date. The road was good, the scenery interesting ( we drove up through the high country where Skiing is the sport in winter) there were no road works to speak of though the dead animal count reached an all time high and we managed to fix the iPod so it played through the car radio. This helped enormously. T Rex is definitely good driving music.

When we got to Merimbula we stopped at the tourist information office, beach front and asked about overnight accommodation. In the past these information centres have been either excellent and helpful or useless. When we called into the centre in Dorrigo you could have knocked the woman down with a feather, she just wasn’t expecting anyone to come in and she was less prepared to give any advice. Our request for accommodation was met with a blank stare.

Unfortunately the Tourist info in Merimbula was of the useless variety.

So we had a little drive around, Sussed out the general lay of the land and spotted a few nice motor motels just off the high street. We chose the Pelican Motor Inn and we were glad we did. As it turned out, we liked it so much we stayed for a second night.

The room was a pretty typical lay out but it was clean, freshly painted and their rates were reasonable at $95 per night. Once settled we went down onto the beach for a few hours and watched the sun go down.

The management were particularly friendly and helpful and advised us to eat at the Bowling club across the road, which we did. Though we didn’t do it justice. The portions were huge and we even resorted to hiding 3 chicken legs into Jaki’s handbag rather than let them see they were uneaten. Though for the next few days we smelt garlic every time she opened her purse.

Drinks were cheap, there was a comfortable seating area and several TV’s showing primarily sports but it was just what the Doctor ordered.

We became aware of a Jazz night in the back room so paid our $20 each and took our seats to watch ‘Miss Demeanour’ an act all the way from Canberra. This consisted of four middle aged ladies, slightly over weight, with heels and shinny dresses. It was like looking at a Beryl Cook painting.

They answered to stage names such as Miss Trussed, Miss Led and the really naughty Miss Carriage. They hammed up some old jazz songs to the backing of a nicotine stained organist and a very bored drummer, but the locals loved it and  we won 2 half bottles of 18 year old whiskey in the raffle, so it wasn’t all bad.

The next day, on the advice of the manager, we went down to the lake side and walked along the Board Walk. This runs around the edge of the lake for miles and is a favourite with joggers, dog walkers, fishermen and tourist alike. We followed it for about an hour and saw a wide variety of wild life, some gorgeous houses, one of which was for sale with its own artist studio and marvelled at the Oyster Farm in the estuary that both produces fresh oysters and monitors the quality of the water.

After this exercise we spent an hour by the pool watching the lizards ( they look exactly like slow worms but with legs) running around the deck doing what it is they do, before wandering down to Pier One Bar and Grill for lunch which is a rather nice restaurant with a big picture window that took in the bay and the estuary.

Lunch is a good way of doing things here as they discount the lunch menu and it is often half the price of an evening meal, which is always referred to as Dinner.

Jaki went off shopping and I returned to the pool with my new acquisition, The long road to freedom by Mandela, which I bought In a second hand book shop.

That evening we planned to sample Oysters as neither of us had eaten them before and as they grew here in Merimbula we felt they couldn’t get any fresher.

So we set out to find a restaurant, but as we left the Motel it started to rain and a storm broke, so we ran across the road to the Bowling club and ordered a starter (entree) of Oysters. The girls at the till suggested we ordered ‘ half a dozen to start with’ that’s six she reminded me!

We ordered them Fitzpatrick, which is cooked with bacon and is very good, though hardly recognisable as an Oyster. So now we had come this far we ordered six fresh which we ate with a squeeze of lemon and swallowed.

I don’t quite get what this is supposed to achieve as it was like swallowing a Muscle, there was very little taste other than the lemon and it didn’t have the aphrodisiac effect I was expecting, but then neither did Jako’s Viagra tablet that he gave me some time ago.

That being the case we settled into some comfortable chairs and watched the last of the cricket which was continuing till 2100 hrs local time.


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