It's not often that a single place on a trip like this gets its own entry from me (someone said a few weeks ago aha, if I'm in xxxx it must be Wednesday, and there have been a few days like that as weekdays and weekends run together) but the Moora hotel deserves a special mention.
Being in somewhat of a hurry to get the necessary bookings done, I hopped on the 'net to get sorted and didn't have the best recall of where I'd stayed on previous travels up here - so I looked at the places listed and said 'that sounds about right' and proceeded to book. Fastforward to the Sunday, with a heck of a storm brewing as I left Perth, fastforward again to Sunday night and arriving at the Moora Hotel via a detour to where I'd stayed last time, which was obviously not the Moora Hotel. Ah, my mind whispered- last trip the guys said 'Moora Motel', not Hotel- but how bad can it be?
For a Sunday evening, all's very quiet. A handful in the tv lounge, lights on in the bar but no service and no customers. Curious. On the pool table a honky horn and a note- we're busy, honk if you need help. I duly honked.
The bartender emerged, hardly looking to serve at the Ritz, and his crestfallen reply 'oh, we have you down but I thought it was tomorrow - sorry, we're renovating the ladies bathroom, will you be ok to share with the guys tonight?' quick call to the guys in the lounge - 'Guys, sharing the bathroom with a lady tonight - OK?'. Reply from the lounge's residents 'No worries Basil' and my thinking OK, country pub, no ensuite - what the hell. The 'Basil' should have warned me.
'er, your room's not quite ready - here, have a beer on the house while you wait' ( getting better). Parking? 'Round the back via the alley behind the bottleshop, but not behind the forklift' - no obvious shortcut back into the establishment, so a stroll back in bracing rain. Then, room ready, bags up, think I'll unpack after dinner, let's try another beer. Sat down with the lads in the lounge, introductions all round, on the tip of my tongue the question - do I need to hang some frillies on the bathroom door to show it's occupied?
Meanwhile I'm thinking damn, this little black duck's gotta start thinking of taking something that will serve as PJs - I think that's crossed my mind before on a road trip, but clearly I never learn.
A quick change of rooms before said beer ('sorry luv, forgot you're here till Wednesday, we have this guy here Tuesday to Friday every week, he considers this his room, very partickuler he is, every night for tea a steaknchips with his termaters sliced just so.....') and just as I'm wondering what next, it turns out to be prettymuch the best steak sandwich in the southern hemisphere.
Why's the bar so quiet? Appears that after a few rough nights recently, they changed the policy - no drinks service without a meal. Brave, I thought, for a country pub, but Basil explained it all. Sure it was a roaring trade but by the time you paid for bar staff & skimpies, the bottom line's the same, so why invite the grief?
My remaining days there followed much the same pattern - hospitality rather than service (d'ya play pool? Let's 'ava coupla games, it's quiet) and good meals - I'll be tempted, next time in in town, to check the progress on the ladies'. When I last saw it, the new lease of life appeared to be expressed by means of a paint job in violent magenta ..... Paint's not what I'd be focusing on in either bathroom, but to each their own. And no, no frillies were lost in the sharing of the Gents' .