Now that im working 40 hours a week, i have decided that i have to take advantage of my weekends. So this Sunday myself, Natalie (girl in our dorm) and Emily (Canadian girl in the room opposite us) hired a car and headed off to pan for gold.
As i am the only grandmother of the group (over 25) i was the only one who could drive...I was a bit scared getting in a car again after a 7 month break...but its like riding a bike, you never forget. Luckily Ozzie roads are very similar to UK, just a lot more deserted which was fine by me.
My boss had given me amazing instructions so within an hour & a half we reached Ballarat - capital of the Gold Mining Area. In Ballarat there is a tourist attraction called Sovereign Hill. Its a mining town that is set in 1854. I thought it would be a couple of shops and a cafe but its actually a proper town with houses, schools, mines, 4 odd streets of shops, factories...you name it they had it. We spent 5 hours wandering around and watching the various demonstrations that go on every day. It really was brilliant fun, a highly recommended tourist trip for anyone deciding to get their bums out here! as promised i will give you the web address for those of you who are really bored and want something other than 'work' to do
The most fun was probably the panning for gold. Everyone else was sat there daintily on the side of the creek, half heartedly shaking their pans and just ending up with a load of sand and stones. We managed to sit next to a gold panning maniac who comes every weekend to try his luck. He had the full equipment of shovels, gold sorting contraptions, scales, the lot! Emily got talking to him and before we knew it, she was stood in the Creek with the water up to her knees shovelling away for the 'best pickings'. I think the old man felt a bit sorry for us foreign girlies so he showed us how to do it properly and we came away with a little container full of gold leaf....i have to admit though that 1/2 hour of panning for gold is fun but i do not understand why he would spend every spare moment doing it...it ranks up there with bird watching and stamp collecting for the most boring hobbies!
on the drive home we stopped off at a harbourside town called 'Williamstown' and enjoyed a al fresco meal with the city skyline in the background. Then we drove home, via the city a million times (the city is all one ways, and ring roads, think Coventry times 10!)and eventually collapsed on our beds about 9pm. I actually managed to sleep through the band downstairs for the first time in 3 weeks...its true that fresh air does you good..haha
So now its monday morning and i am back at work..boo hoo! only another 3 weeks to go though, then im off to Perth (2 1/2 day train journey!) for a couple of weeks before returning to my new job....
at a ski resort!
yep i am the only girl who can come to Australia and end up living in snow for 4 months! ok i know i cant ski and i have absolutely no winter clothing but hey its an adventure and thats what im here for. Im going to be a travel/reservation consultant up on the mountain. Accommodation provided, ski lessons a plenty & lots and lots of hot chocolate...yummy!
will keep you posted on that one
love to everyone