After 25 days travelling through Russia in winter (missed the posts? find them here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) it was time to spend some more time with the lama in a more tropical setting. We had a Mahamudra course in Ballina Beach Village, in South Ballina, NSW.
BBV is commonly used for yoga retreats, and so had an Eastern thing going on (buddhas, etc.) We rented the whole place; most of us stayed in the cabins and some people camped. Most of the cabins were for families. They had a deck, a living/dining/kitchen, a room with a double bed, a room with bunk single beds, and a shared toilet that connected both rooms. The kitchen was equipped with stove, microwave, fridge, crockery, utensils, etc. There was also a tray with instant coffee, teabags and sugar. And last but not least, air conditioning. Very luxurious, compared to the hostels and hotels I stayed in Russia.
A group of us arrived one day earlier to finish setting up the venue for the course. At lunchtime, we headed to the cafe, with communal tables and mismatching chairs that gave it a great atmosphere.
They had good coffee for sale, and there was also a beverage station where you could make yourself a cup of standard black tea or instant coffee.
But we were more interested in the food. The regular cafe menu was not very promising for the gluten-free people, but luckily the staff was very accommodating and we could make adjustments to our order.
Some ordered steak sandwiches on gluten-free bread.
Steak sandwich on gluten-free bread
Alvaro and I shared a steak “sandwich” and a bacon & egg “roll”, both sans bread ($26 for both). We asked for some tomato and lettuce with the bacon & eggs. Both meals pretty average, but to be fair they were pretty busy with the meals to come.
Steak “sandwich” sans bread
Bacon & egg “roll” sans bread
All sandwiches, even those without bread, came with chips. The staff could not guarantee they were gluten-free, but we ate them anyway.
That night dinner was special because we were such a small group. We could choose between steak with Bernaise sauce and lemon myrtle barramundi, both served with chips and salad. Alvaro and I got one of each and shared; both dishes were fantastic. My lunch disappointment vanished.
Lemon myrtle barramundi
Steak with Bernaise sauce
For dessert, the options were gluten-free apple crumble and sticky date pudding, both served with ice cream. The pudding was not gluten-free, so the choice was clear. We also asked for cream instead of ice cream. The crumble was delicious, and best of all, not too sweet.
Gluten-free apple crumble with cream
Sticky date pudding with ice cream