Oh my but it was freezing again this morning. We headed to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and had breakfast at a restaurant opposite which has a magnificent view of The Lake. Because of the cold we sat indoors next to a window and the view was to die for. After putting in our order I went outside to take photographs. The Purple Swamphen in Australia is not a shy bird as it tends to be here. In fact there were hoards of them prancing about on the front lawn – Really these exotic birds are quite boring here in Oz!
My Breakfast Club would love this place It has ambience, style and the menu would definitely caters for our gourmet tastes. How about it girls – A breakfast in Ballarat?
So the visit to the Gardens afterwards was okay – but it’s not Kirstenbosch. I loved the arum lilies in different shades thought. And the Prime Ministers Avenue was quite a nice touch. The staff were friendly and it was interesting to note that all the labour was white. I love the Australian attitude that any job is a good job. There is so little class distinction and people are respected for whatever they do.
The thing that has impressed me is that so many places of interest have free entrance. I am not opposed to paying to see something interesting but when we went to Sovereign Hill which shows off an old Gold Mine Town we were hugely disappointed. To get in it would cost $47 each! That is just ridiculous. We decided to give it a miss. It included a visit to the Museum and a Light show. Maybe it was worth it but we didn’t want to take the chance. Remember that converts to R470 each- more than I would pay to see live theatre!
So instead we headed for Yarra Valley. As I said it was cold this morning but by the time we arrived at our accommodation – Mecure Yarra Valley the temperature had risen and it was beautifully warm.
We were at an hour early for check in so went to the restaurant for a cold drink – a bowl of delicious warm olives, a beer and two sparkling waters set us back $20.00
We decided that dinner at this establishment would be out of our budget! The place was divine. It is set in a wine growing valley surrounded by beautiful mountains – which made us feel very much at home and how lovely to finally see some mountains in flat Australia. The resort has a Spa so we immediately booked a massage each. There is also a gym albeit it small. We have been over indulging in rich food so I thought I needed to work some of it and before the massage at 5 I took myself off to do a workout – (Hope you’re proud of me Steve!) I did the Big 5 that Steve tells me are essential for good back maintenance as well as Suit-case Squats and Turkish Get-ups. Then I got onto the treadmill and did a good 25 minute run. I felt great afterwards and felt that I earned my massage!
Our accommodation is beyond luxurious. We have a jacuzzi/shower, self catering facilities and a view. We decided that after all the rich food we have been eating we should shop and self-cater for the next few days. We loved Iga Super Market – excellent quality fruit and vegetables. We got a ready cooked chicken, salad stuff, fruit and vegetables, cheese and biscuits and local wine and beer. Our meal was stunning and dinner, breakfast, lunch and possibly another meal cost us way less than yet another rich meal out!