Destination Mollymook… Ian, Jen, Mum and I set out on Friday morning after packing the loaned Mazda XC7 to the gills with clothing and goods (ie food, beer and wine) for four. The weather was pretty good and getting better each and every day so we were happy that we seemed to be over the worst of the weather and wind (we hope) and were looking forward to 4 days out of the city.

The drive on the Princes Highway (1) out of Sydney was like watching paint dry… oh so long and boring. But once we got on the two lane highway we were on our way courtesy of “Giselle” (our Tom Tom nav device). We stopped for lunch in Berry on the way down the coast to our rental house. Lunch was quite good, in the old post office that had been converted to a restaurant and inn. Afterwards we mooched around for a bit before continuing on our way down the coast. I would say that this part of NSW (New South Wales) is very much like England… lots of rolling hills with cattle on large plots of land. Interestingly the area doesn’t get below freezing, so there is no true Winter for the trees to lose their leaves… they sporatically drop to the ground and and renew so the area doesn’t get that burst of color that we normally see at Spring when everything is so fresh and clean like everyone wakeing up all at once. Don’t get me wrong, this sure beats the 50 degree weather everyone is currently enjoying at home!

So onward and finally at our destination 3+ hours later we arrived in Mollymook. We rented the lower part of a two family house just steps from the beach with a magnificent view of the ocean and the beachside community. The sand is so clean, as is the beach itself, that the sand sqweeks under foot. Really it does. Interestingly there are not of shells that have washed up on the beach and a local shop sells shells for $2 each… for those die-hards that have to have a shell from Mollymook!

The house is really lovely, modern and clean. It is probably the nicest rental house that I’ve been in… equipped with everything, bedding (called Manchester here – will talk more on this later) is top quality, board games and there is a fantastic plasma TV with a good selection of the latest movies. And did I mention the hot tub???? So we were literally set for as long as necessary!

Okay, so you are probably wondering what “Manchester” is all about…. Well, I got the “official” explanation from Faye and Phil, the home’s owners that live upstairs. In Australia, the residents call all bedding, linen, towels, etc. as “Manchester” as it originated all those years ago in the town of Manchester in the Lancashire region of England. Okay, so a little crazy, but it works for them and now I have my answer. So next time you are at Bed, Bath and Beyond, be sure to ask for your Manchester and you never know what will happen next!

So settled in, we headed out to grab some fish and chips for dinner. Always on the prowl for the best fish and chips we headed to Ulladulla for a meal. This is a sleepy area (okay the whole area), so instead of a nice restaurant to have a meal, we were relegated to fish and chips take away as everything, and I mean pretty much everything shuts down after 5:30pm. This is consistent across the region (including parts of Sydney) as eventhough they’ve just gone through Daylight Savings Time, it gets dark here pretty early, so they begin their day pretty early as well. Fish choices were, well, one… Basa… a locally caught white fish that is (can I say) incredibly expensive at $7.50 per filet (without chips ie “fries”). So disappointing on what we got for the money, the fish was okay, but the chips were good!

After dinner we ventured out to the local golf club for a drink. Except for the very exclusive clubs, almost all Australian golf clubs allow out-of-towners to pop into the bar or play a round without a membership. When we walked in we just needed to show ID (and can I say I was the only one with it!) and we signed in as temporary members. The golf club had a restaurant, several bars, seating areas inside and out, a children’s area, casino (slot machines) and live music. Earlier I spoke about how sleepy the town is… well, this is where everyone was! There were about 200 people in the restaurant alone!  So we just spent the rest of the evening hanging out and watching the golf on the big screens and having a chat… I was just happy to be out of the rain.