Day 12

Forgot to mention another WOW from yesterday was seeing koalas in the wild in the Otway Forest. Amazing. Anyway woke up to a wet tent and grey skies in Ballarat. There was no rain just a heavy dew. But it was bloody cold. Got packed up quickly thanks to the wonderful Joy. She has the packing down to a fine art now. After a free pancake from the park owners we headed into Sovereign Hill which is – as we found out – a working village of how Ballarat was during the gold rush in the 1800s. Sadly we did not have all day to see it, which is apparently what you need, and decided to go see the Eureka Rebellion museum instead. It is a fascinating story of a group of gold diggers who took on the might of the British Government over gold licences and won – not only a battle – but the war for democracy. Look it up on google or watch the film Eureka Stockade which stars my all-time favourite Australian actor Chips Rafferty. Ballarat was an interesting place full of old buildings and history, shame we did not have more time. We set off for Griffith about 11am. Bendigo was en route and that too was an old-style town with plenty of magnificent old buildings. Sadly we had to keep on trucking. Stopped in Ecucha for lunch in Victoria and then crossed the bridge into Moama, NSW – our fourth state. From then on in there was not much to report as the road to Griffith is a boring one and the speed limit is only 100km – it feels like you are walking!!! The sun was shining and it was still 28C when we reached our destination. We dropped in on Melody and Mike – friends from Albany – and had a good night at the local Catholic club. It was supposed to be a karaoke night for some local firms’ Christmas parties. But only 20 people were there in a big club. We waited for them all to go and had our own little karaoke party with a couple of locals Geoff – the bar manager – and Simon the DJ. A fun night and the chance to sleep in a bed for the first time in 12 days. A decent sleep but somehow for some reason, I missed the tent!!!! Off exploring today after a bit of a lie in, so will be back tomorrow. There you are Bertie – a little shorter just for you.

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