Australia Diary 28 March 2002

This morning we knew we had a busy start. First things first, pack up the tent. Then I called my dad. Great news, he found some tyres in Ballarat. Problem. Ballarat was at least 100kms from Halls Gap. We weren't going to make it. So we decided we would drive to Stawell (pronounced stool, as in the thing you sit on, or ... sample) and pick up a couple of second hand tyres to get us to Ballarat. So we headed off on our journey at an average speed of about 40kms/hr. Needless to say we got some strange looks from Victorian drivers. I don't think they were impressed with our New South Wales numberplate.

In Stawell, the guy fitted us up with some slighly smaller second hand tyres and we drove to Ballarat.On the road again and 'on a mission for Michelins' - the big fat marshmellow man.

On the way from the Stawell out to Ballarat we passed something that probably would only happen in Australia. A little caravan was set up at the side of the road offering free teas, coffees and biscuits. The idea is that you stop and break up your journey. They're very strong on taking breaks when you drive. The recommendation is that you stop at least every two hours to rejuvinate yourself. There's even a slogan, "Stop, Revive, Survive" and you'll see posters at the side of the road, as well as adverts on the television. My hat goes off to the guys of the Rotary Club running the tea stop - the drinks and food may have been donated by various different companies, but these guys were giving up their time to dish it out to us motarists at all times of the day and night.