by Lyndal McKenzie (superstar guest blogger)
I had a nap today. I’m not normally a napper, but I needed a nap.
We headed off for a bit of a walk this morning. A short hike. It had rained all night so the trails were likely to be slippery and inaccessible. So I thought we might be gone for an hour or so.
But the trails were just perfect.
We wandered along one. Then another one. Then – oh look! There’s another one! We played at waterfalls and climbed through a canyon. We marched our way up steep single trail and jogged down cruisey fire trails. We got rained on a little, but it was refreshing, not cold. Was really good of Richelle to organise the weather the way she did – well done Richelle!
So anyway, three and a bit hours later, we were back in this more-than-a-little-bit-luxurious house, and I was in that happily worn out state, that saw me waking up sometime later from an accidental nap on the couch.
There are nine of us here. Each with a different connection to the Ultra Life, but all with the shared interest of getting outdoors, away from the hassles of the working world and just having a fun, laid back time. Everyone is getting along like a house on fire and swapping stories about our everyday lives. Some are pretty standard (where do you work), some are really interesting (what wonderful places have your hiking boots seen?) and some too funny to do justice in print (frisky animals at the zoo and an unfortunate incident with Giraffe….fluids….?).
The stories started as we all rolled in last night and sat down to a delicious home cooked risotto and a glass or two of wine. The stories picked up where they left off when we sat down again this morning to some more home cooked goodness, layered apple porridge. The food Richelle is serving up is just divine and I can’t wait for the desert I can smell her preparing for tonight! We’ve got a surprise activity in store for us tomorrow morning, so I intend to fuel up in preparation, just in case!
The desert was even better than it smelled! I licked my bowl. Far too good to waste a scrap, homemade toblerone mousse is definitely on my favourites list.
Last night involved yet another amazing meal, this time a Mexican feast. There was a spontaneous show of couples fashion (ladies mix’n’match), followed by a soak in the hot tub, the delicious mousse, then some down time with a Mount Everest documentary and a couple more drinks. In the afternoon, some of the girls had taken off for a run, one out for a ride and some for another walk. The rest of us, happy with our day’s adventure, chilled out in the luxurious house, sniffing the mousse as it was prepared.
We woke up this morning, buzzing with excitement for the surprise activity and itching to head out on the next adventure we’d each chosen for our last day of the girls’ weekend. We sat down together for a breakfast of savoury quiches – filling and tasty, which was lucky, because by this stage, there were expectations!
As we strolled on down to the beach, we encountered our first kangaroo. Not out on the trails, in the forest where you’d expect, but hopping through a car park, then very all very civilised up the footpath in a residential street. Straight towards us. He was a big fella and I wasn’t so sure how I felt about one of the girls, who will remain nameless (though it starts with St and end with acey), hiding behind me…..but luckily he wasn’t interested in us and hopped off through the back of a block of units and disappeared into, well, suburbia somewhere.
So on we continued, down to meet Richelle on the beach for our surprise – flying kites! It’s been a mighty long time since I flew a kite, but I tell you what – it was a lot of fun! There wasn’t much wind about, so we had to run a bit more to keep them up in the air. It was fantastic! The faster you ran the higher it flew and the more spectacular when it came crashing to the ground!
Saying our first goodbye, we split up next, one heading home, the rest heading off for our selected adventures. Most chose to go on hikes again, fanning out through the forest in different directions. Some even chose to visit the local posh tea shop. I chose to run today, taking off along the beach front then cutting up into the trees and along some of the many wonderful trails in Lorne. I had studied the map and figured I could wing my way through. Mostly I was right, one wrong turn added a 20 minute, particularly steep loop to my journey, but hey, it was all part of the adventure. I bounded my way through the beautiful landscape, pausing occasionally to take in the spectacular views, with the biggest grin you ever saw – if you were a bird that is, because I didn’t see another single person. It was heaven.
It occurred to me about half way through I’d taken no water, no phone and no map…..but once again, it was all part of the adventure, right?! I trotted up the road (then wheezed up the steepest driveway in the history of driveways) in perfect time for a massive spread of all the weekend’s leftovers. Oh, it was so rewarding. I ate with glee – 9km on the trails will do that to a girl!
And yes, there was left over mousse.....
Thanks Lyndal for such an amazing blog. I cant believe its your first ever blog, theres some untapped talent there!
Thanks also to all the girls who made the weekend so awesome, I wouldnt change a thing!
Check out the photos of the weekend.
Shane's an ultra runner and La Sportiva Ambassador, with a taste for adventure, always up for a new and different challenge.