Monthly Archives: October 2012

20121028 – Ned Kelly Country and the Great Alpine Road

Sunday – hot and sunny.

Up early for the long drive up to the Ned Kelly country and our tour along the great Alpine road.

To relieve the boredom and keep me awake a kangaroo bounces out. If we’d have been a second earlier then Wendy would have been rattly away from inside a roe’s pouch.DSCF7089 

Stop at Bright for lunch. A lovely little tourist town fortunately not spoilt. This seems like a great location for a house swap. Plenty of walks, places to see and plenty of character. No big cities. An Ozzie equivalent of Sedona

Waitress is one of the most bubbly we’ve ever encountered and very helpful. Must be the mountain air. 

DSCF7100Take the long windy drive up to Mount Hotham.Then drive on to Harrietville an even smaller and less spoilt village – very quaint. Everything seems to centre around the general store, come post office, come petrol station, come tourist shop. You name it they sell it. Another lovely location, unspoilt despite the ski trade.


We stay in a lovely 5 bedroom ski lodge at Dinner Plains – yes that’s the name of the ski village. It’s practically deserted. Go out for dinner. With a name like Dinner Plains there should be plenty of choice. Wrong! We’re lucky the central hotel is open. What’s on the menu? It’s a barbie, that should be good – these Ozzies know a thing or two about barbies. You can have DSCF7158sausage, sausage or sausage. To be fair there were 3 different types. Guess I’ll have a sausage.

Have to say it was very enjoyable and our Canadian chef went out of his way with the condiments and his home made blueberry barbie sauce. Then totally unsolicited he bought out a load of his home made fudge for us and gave us a cartoon of his barbie sauce to take home. A real character even if somewhat eccentrically dressed in a banana suit – apparently his Canadian Sunday church wear! A great and memorable evening.


Monday – hot and sunny. 

Delicious bacon and eggs for breakfast – my first in Oz.

Then we have a wander around the delights of Mount Hotham ski resort – it’s deserted. It’s a shame to see a grown man cry – not enough snow to ski on and the lifts were shut. I have to pass on my ambition to ski in Oz.


Have a look around where Kurt worked when he was up here – how anyone can call being at a ski resort work amazes me. How lucky can you get. 

At least the general stores open for coffee.

The Great Alpine Road certainly lives up to its name. Stunning views, goes straight through the ski resort and is a typical mountain road with switchbacks, z bends and some great drop DSCF7190offs for the unwary. Must be real fun when icy.But at least there’s signs on the road edges telling you to keep left or right rather to avoid dropping off the edge Seems some what obvious in summer but I suppose in winter when there’s snow banked up you can have numpties driving off into oblivion. Mind you it’s amazing that some scrotsDSCF7150 haven’t somewhat mischievously twisted the signs around – fatal.

On the way back we call in Bright again for fridge magnets and lunch.

Then visit Wangaratta, what a great sounding name, doesn’t it just roll off the tongue. Sounds typically Ozzie.

Apparently Ned Kelly’s last stand was in Glenrowan on 28th June 1880 where he was captured and carted off to Melbourne jail to be hanged.

20121026 – Sovereign Hill

Friday – grey, miserable and rainy.


Lazy day. Wendy gets her weekly treat and goes to the supermarket whilst I spend the morning checking the accounts, credit cards and statements.

By lunch time I’m ready to stick every bankers
bum on a barbie.DSCF6947

Yes, its the usual crap of passwords, stupid 
favourite phrase – name, place, book etc – most of which I’ve forgotten or have probably changed since last logon. Who are these numpties who think this crap up – about as much common sense as a politician.


Then we have Newcastle Building Society who DSCF6932can’t seem to understand the basics of accounting. Statements in the rest of the banking world is  Opening balance + All transactions = closing balance. They can’t be bothered showing the transactions.

But then dig a hole and bury me, it just doesn’t get better than this! The award for stupidity ofthe month must go to “The Post Office Credit Card”. You’d think the one thing a bank would be able to do is add up money. Not really too much to ask me thinks. Well these lunatics struggle with this:

  • Statement just doesn’t add up. It’s only about £2,000 out on £3,000, a mere smidgen.
  • Nearly 50% of transactions are missing – maybe it isn’t a screw up on the addition you may think!
  • Now I know adding 30 odd items up may just set the abacus alight, but hang on they can’t even add two numbers together.


They’re all 20 cents short of a dollar. What DSCF6967chance do we stand with bankers who can’t add up. No wonder they got us into this mess. Bwankers!

Recent surveys of US adults indicate that many Americans hold at least some pseudo-science beliefs:

Astrology: 52%
ESP: 46%
Witches: 19%
Aliens have landed on Earth: 22%
The lost continent of Atlantis: 33%
Dinosaurs and Humans Lived Simultaneously: 41%
DSCF6989Noah’s flood: 65%
Communication with the dead: 42%
Ghosts: 35%
Actually Had a Psychic Experience: 67%

Saturday – cold and grey but no rain.

Up at a sparrows fart to drive up to Ballarat.

Try and visit the Eureka Stockade. They’ve nearly finished a lovely new visitors centre but alas there’s no where to park yet, to at least see the site of the Stockade. Planners they don’t have enough brains to give themselves an headache.


Visit Ballarat for a stroll around. Nothing to get excited about. Wendy was quite scathing. It reminded her of Accrington. Fair condemnation.

Drive onto Sovereign Hill, an outdoor museum that tells the story of Ballarat’s first gold rush in 1851. A great day out with loads to see and do. Full of people in period dress, plenty of live demonstrations and buildings of the period.

The Wheelwright demonstration was awesome. Just think they made these wheel hubs out of green wood, while it was soft enough to work, DSCF7022and then had to leave it for 2 – 3 years to mature and harden up. Machinery involved to speed up the processes was an impressive demonstration of the ingenuity of industrial revolution – 1860’s.

Live gold pouring demonstration was amazing, especially as the resulting gold ingot was worth $175,000. Fortunately they keep using the same gold and it’s not eroded or warn out!

A great day out. Pity it was so cold. Unusually, well worth the money, and good to hear it was not for profit.