May 5, 2010
At Margaret River Surf School, I would finally get to show off my prowess on a board. As it was, I turned out to be crap – too unfit, fat and out of practice. My only consolation was the Geoff was even worse and drank half the Indian Ocean for breakfast, which made its way back during the entire day via his nose.
Our instructor Jarrad, a former Australian short board champion, did his best, but it was a hopeless cause and he advised me to buy a time machine to go back to the days of my youth.
Still, it was wonderful to be back out on a board in warm water again as the last time I was out was off Co Donegal and the water was so cold I had to bring a hammer to crack the surface before I could get in.
I felt my old skills were coming back with practice and got up for a few short rides, but after what seemed like about 20 minutes, Jarrad informed us it was last wave time as we had been in the water two hours.
Starving, we headed back to camp for breakfast/lunch, with cold pizza from the night before my chosen delicacy, as after being surfing you will eat anything and everything, and it all tastes like the best thing you have ever put in your gob.
Then we headed off to visit the Voyager vineyard, one of the most famous Margaret River wineries.
It’s an impressive place with manicured lawns and perfect gardens. When I say manicured, I mean it as they employ 11 gardeners and we reckoned they all must get out with nail scissors to do the lawns, as there As both of us were suffering from various muscle strains from our surfing exploits, we decided to taste everything, feeling that might work better than painkillers.
Mr Hill showed off his pretentious side coming up with all kinds of poncy wine terms, and telling Britta, who was us feeding plonk at a rate of knots that he was thinking of buying ‘a few bottles’.
‘Here, drongo, which ones did you like, as I’m going to get a couple for dinner?’
‘I think they might be a bit pricey, me old corkscrew, as she was talking about ‘lying them down’ and all that, so if you do get some, you might want to take them home for a special occasion.
‘Bugger that, life’s too short’ and off he went.
I then heard the following exchange: ‘Britta, me old grapevine, how much is it for the savignon blanc, the shiraz and the merlot?’
‘The sauvignon is $35, the shiraz $45 and the merlot $65.’
‘Err, I’ll just go and confer with my colleague to see what he prefers,’ he said, visibly blanching, before going and hiding behind a very tall wine rack, looking like he needed ‘lying down’ himself.
Chuckling, I went back to my glossy magazine ‘Wine for drongos who have no money and can’t taste the difference anyway’ – much more in my league.
We then snuck out while Britta’s back was turned, the cowards that we are.
And so Geoff and Colin arrive back home to the sirens of the motorcycle police flanked by a band of bikers from the Quay Vipers Club and to the strains of Waltzing Matilda playing under the shade of the Adelaide inflatable finish line. A fitting end to a scorching adventure marked in true style by our friends from Adelaide Insurance Services. You can check out the speechifying here and stayed…Continue reading
It had, I thought that evening as we sat down in a pub in Clare to bangers and mash washed down with pints of foaming ale, been the strangest of adventures.The previous ones, from Delhi to Belfast on an Enfield, Chicago to Los Angeles on Route 66 riding a Harley, and…Continue reading
At a place called Kimba in South Australia, we halted to take a picture of a giant galah, but then we managed to get Geoff out of shot so we could get a photo of the big parrot.
Our next break was at Iron Knob, as we just couldn’t resist.
It is the birthplace of the Aussie steel industry, as the knob itself was almost pure iron ore.
As mature… Continue reading