Day 8 - Melbourne, Ballarat, Avoca

View from the hotelMorning, and fairly mild hangovers, considering.  Today was the tour of the Goldfields (and a couple of wineries, obviously).

There's still gold in them thar hillsFirst, and main, call was Sovereign Hill, a reconstructed Gold Rush town in Ballarat.  Lots of people in period costume showed us round, including one very patient type who guided a party round the mines, responding tactfully to one brat's many questions, all of which were variants of "Are we nearly finished?"

Street scene.  David's phone trills merrily in the distance.Mark stayed true to type by wandering off and looking at the parts of the township devoted to government and administration while the rest went to watch some gold being poured using period equipment.  The demonstration was somewhat anachronistically disturbed by David's phone going off, playing an irritating tune at great length while David tried to switch the thing off.

And so more wineries.  A small friendly place called St Ignatius run by Argentine expatriates was the first call - then to Mt Avoca, which had an absolutely fantastic (and rather pricey) noble Semillon, which at the time of writing is waiting for the special occasion on which it should be drunk.

Mark was feeling fairly hacked off, as he was required to take the tastings a bit easy given that it was his turn to drive.  It's just as well, however, that his adherence to the drink-drive laws was rather more conscientiously done than his approach to the speed limit, as the return trip to Melbourne found him blowing into the breathalyser as he discovered just how strictly the traffic laws are enforced.

Strange are the ways of the Rodmell.
as he speeds on Victorian roads.
When required to stop
by Australian cops,
how much will he grovel? Well, loads.
David inspects the damage to his recently-plummeted cameraWell, the copper let Mark off with a mild bollocking, partly because of Mark's uncustomary politeness but probably also because he was already bewildered by the UK driving licence and despaired of the paperwork involved in issuing a ticket.

2000 km.  And one of Mark's more moderate speeds.The 2000 kilometre mark was reached today.  David celebrated this by setting up his camera on the boot of the car to take a timed photo in such a way as to ensure that it would topple over and smash on the ground just before the shutter went.
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