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Manganese, Gold and the odd Snake - Day 8

More time at Honeymoon Pool


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Today we spent wandering around a disused manganese mine. We have got into the pattern or packing up morning tea/lunch and off fossicking. Anytime a car stops for a look, all are out with g-picks and cameras and we all congregate around a find whether it be plant, mineral or animal. One fellow camper has the expertise of macro-photography and is duly called when a cricket, snake or flower needs her extra photographic attention. As a result going 10ks can take a while. Aside from checking out the mine we had an appointment with the supermarket to pick up some articles that had been sprayed for easier removal.37674650-9bae-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpg0bc90ba0-9bae-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpg0b2aa8c0-9bae-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpg
We went through serious geology country and plenty of time was spent gathering the right specimens with some of us resisting the bulging pockets and discarding as we found better ones. Others just filled up the back of cars with promises to cull back at camp. We spent time checking out the flora and serious photography meant that we all were able to get "that" magic photo of some plant which had grabbed our attention. We were also very fortunate to come across a beautiful, well fed, around 2 metres long, black headed python. While yours truly admired the colouring and agility of the snake from the safety of 20 metres, remaining admirers produced cameras and got 'in your face' shots, allowing said animal to wander at large over their shoes or between their legs. One could only hope that their recognition skills were spot on. 24e97fd0-9bad-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpg24509b30-9bad-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpgffee07f0-9bac-11e8-94dc-010d63744186.jpg
Morning tea was spent alongside what could best be described as a mesa -something out of the Mexican desert - sparse flora and fauna but plenty of rocks. 52419f80-9bad-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpg
We finally arrived at the old, currently mothballed manganese mine where the owners had rehabilitated the surrounding site far more successfully than the previous Horseshoe Light gold mine. However the remaining buildings contained much machinery and the like, obviously too expensive to remove, and those interested in this specialty wandered over it checking out the cogs and like. Not being an expert in the processing of manganese, I know that the soil is sorted, with the first process removing the larger rocks which are deposited onto a very large hill at the back of the plant. This hill was rich in many different type of rocks and minerals which meant that the climb over it took at least an hour. We all oogh and ahhed as we selected assorted specimens and only halted our endeavors because we had no more pockets, bags or hands to carry the load. This provided the machinery crowd with the extra time they needed to further investigate the machinery around the site. 53f62d50-9bad-11e8-94dc-010d63744186.jpg52995c70-9bad-11e8-94dc-010d63744186.jpg524485b0-9bad-11e8-94dc-010d63744186.jpg
Our next stop was another mine site along the same range but not developed to the same extent. We were able to see where they had been dynamiting the hillside to provide the ore and the rock hunters were rewarded with specific specimens that were pocketed or carted back to the cars. More weight!
On our return back to camp we stopped off one more time at the supermarket of all things rusty, to pick up some old wheels which Mark had WD40. Gawd bless this stuff as Mark was able to remove the wheels that had been sitting out here in the elements for at least 30 years. We take recycling seriously!20180703_102547.jpg
Back to camp for the evening ritual and our first bath for a few days. Shower time and Mark tried his hand at the creek crossing and bravely bucketed the freezing water. I decided to try out the camper shower and between turning on hot and cold taps with Mark igniting the gas and the water pump waking up the ancestral spirits, I too ended up with a freezing shower! More work to be done to that machine.
That night we had the pleasure of the company of a couple of pensioners who come over from Victoria every year for around 5 months to go and revisit their various gold sites for more gold. They generously showed us their spoils and we learnt about tiddlers, screamers, howlers and sunbakers. They had the honour of finding many years before, a very large specimen which they had sold on and is currently in America. Like all good gold hunters they kept locations and sites etc close to their chests, but did leave us armed with information as to the best detectors that we have to buy. As they have been "living off their finds" for over many years, they inspired several of the group to reassess the idea of gold prospecting as an alternative occupation.

Posted by Toot'speak 01:30 Archived in Australia Tagged black mine python headed magnese

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