Ballarat, Sovereign Hill, migraine & 12 Apostles

Hi
I’ll remember these two weeks of leave as a holiday in two clear volumes – pre and post the Frontier Services/AIM 100th birthday worship event and the thrill of Ted Egan singing my song.

Back at our Rosebud base camp as of last Thursday evening, we spent the weekend
* couch-potatoing the two big footy grand finals. Interesting watching the AFL game just outside Melbourne. I was barracking for the Swans and Storm, so excellent outcome, and two great games (ear-biting sickness excepted)
* going locally to church on Sunday morning
* catching up on the weekend papers and the novel Dale gifted me last Christmas
* enjoying a lovely drive as far as the peninsula road goes: to Sorrento; where we enjoyed an equally lovely lunch at the Sorrento Hotel
* on the way back we detoured via the Sorrento back beach and took in some stunning scenery.

Yesterday morning we set off on the much-awaited driving holiday “trip within a trip” taking in Ballarat and the Great Ocean Road.

Apart from the rarity of a migraine setback this morning (Dale to the rescue in more ways than the driving), these two days have been wonderful.

Setting off soon after sunrise yesterday (Monday) we made it to Sovereign Hill – the ‘living’ recreation of Ballarat’s gold-fever of the mid 19th century I’ve long wanted to take in. It was so worth it. After patchy weather on the drive northwest there, by early afternoon the skies turned beautifully blue. LOTs of people and so many fantastic reenactments. Found ourselves down two actual mines – claustrophobia failed to get the better of me! Some excellent live theatre too!

After a quick checkin to our motel, we headed back to Sovereign Hill to take in firstly a scrumptious 3-course dinner and then: “Blood on the Southern Cross” – a 90 minute sound & light extravaganza retelling the story of the Eureka Rebellion and events leading up to it. Must have been 300 people there with us – some of the time outdoors, other times under cover. Magnificently done. A must-see if you ever plan to visit Sovereign Hill. Great to be reminded of an event that is for many, the birthing of democracy in Australia.

Today – breakfast at a downtown Ballarat pancakes place was sadly followed by a mild migraine. A bit sad, but Dale took the wheelie our hire car for the drive SSW to Port Campbell – towards the western end of Victoria’s world-renowned Great Ocean Road. Thanks Dale!

Getting to Port Campbell, we quickly checked into our motel (nice!) and then checked out the local sights. What sights!

The high point was undoubtedly driving just a few minutes eastward to a parking area, from which we walked a short distance to where we took in the sight of the 12 Apostles; without doubt one f the most iconic of Australian sights on our coastline. Just one word is needed to describe what we saw: BREATHTAKING!

Cheers,
David

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