Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 56: Victoria to NSW to ACT

Yes today was our day for travelling interstates. We woke up in Victoria, rode into NSW and ended up in ACT. We woke to another really cold and frost day this morning. Had a quick Muesli (not Hubbards!) breakfast and set off carefuly heading east with the little ice crystal on the dash flashing at us and the temperature going from 1.5 degrees C to 2 degrees and back again. We pretty much stuck to the coast road through Bairnsdale to Lake Entrance and Oborst stopping at Bellbird Creek from some well-earned bacon and eggs. Then we struck our first sign giving a distance to Sydney - the journey suddenly began to feel as if it was close to an end. Only 595 kms left to Sydney!

That also took us back into NSW.

On then to Eden and Bega (where we had been told to watch out for milk tankers) and then we found .... wait for it ... some corners!

This road was a real blast. We had been warned that it would be slippery with leaf litter but actually it was quite clear. A series of hairpin bends with advisories of 25kph. Great fun. We stopped at the top for a great view down the valley.

We then pushed on to Cooma where we stopped for a snarler and a latte and were told that the ride through to Canberra now would be painfully slow because of all the Sunday afternoon skiers going home from the Snowy Mountains to Canberra. In the end however it wasn't too bad but we were both amazed at the number of dead kangaroos and wombats on the side of the road through this section. We had also been told to watch out for the Highway Patrol too so we were careful about keeping to the speed limit. In the event however we only saw two patrol cars.
This took across our next border into the Australian Capital Territory...

...and up into Canberra. We spent a bit of time tooling around in Canberra looking at some of the sights before settling into an expensive, and not very good, motel in Ainslee. From we walked around to an AFL club for the usual beer and a meal. Even though it was a Sunday this place was humming. Pokies took up nearly half of the space with huge bar areas and a restaurant. We had a really nice meal and a couple of (low-alcohol) beers and then decided to have a Baileys to finish the night off. This led to one of the most hilarious drinks we ever ordered in Oz and really illustrated the extraordinary amount of over regulation the country suffers from. Here's what happened.

I went up to the bar and ordered two Baileys and asked that they be served in wine glasses rather than the huge tumblers they often come in. That was fine and the drinks were poured; but then the barman asked what I would like mixed with them. I was a bit surprised but told him I didn't want anything as a mixer. The barman explained that he wasn't allowed to do this. Under ACT law, all spirits and liquers must be served with a mixer. They cannot be served straight lest the terrible Aussies use them as shooters. I asked what he thought Baileys could be mixed with and he suggested ice.

"OK then," I said, "What is the smallest amount of ice that I have to have in my Baileys?" He replied "One cube." So we got out the ice bowl and searched through it to find the two smallest teeniest possible ice cubes and put one in each glass. Thusly was the law satisfied. Dumb!

We then walked back home to our motel and had a good night's sleep. A long day today covering 625kms, some of which was delightfully twisty. Off to Sydney tomorrow for the last day of our trip. I'm not sure whether to feel pleased or sad!

1 comment:

  1. Oh hahaha.....wot a hoot over a drink They really do have some unusual and archaeic laws once you scratch under the skin in Oz!!
    Really enjoying your report Ken, I have done all around the top from Brizzy to Perth and will be doing the bottom this October-your comments are illuminating-have a great time!