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Newman - Day 24 n 25

Heading towards home on final leg.

Up at a leisurely time we breakfasted, read the paper and then, on hitching up the trailer, we jackknifed it and put a rather largish dent in the bumper...oogh! Given this was our last day in the bush I reckon we've done rather well and little damage to either the car or trailer. Mark on the other hand was not amused!
Before we left the town we popped into a local swimming hole - Garden Pool - that was about 4 ks out of town connected to the Nullagine river that runs alongside the settlement. The river is bordered on one side with lovely tall gum trees and we were lucky to be welcomed by the screeches of a large corella flock, a couple of elegant pelicans cruised off downstream and we watched a large bird of prey feed its little one in a nest high above us. A neat little picnic spot finished the place off. I believe this area once used to be Chinese vegetable gardens.
Our trip to Newman went without mishap and we stayed overnight at the same place we had stayed at previously. On the way we passed through the gigantic Roy Hill Mine site where plenty of activity could be seen from the hill overlooking some of the site. In fact the site disappeared into the horizon - it is massive. The stats on this place are mind boggling with an independent rail system over 300 ks long taking the ore to Port Headland. This ore mine is connected with the latest technology etc., but it does leave a very big scar on our landscape. I just hope those overseas clients are paying enough for it! 59517ad0-c785-11e8-9d8e-3f9dd1f8c56a.jpg
We spent the night in Newman at the same place we'd previously stayed and aside from connecting up to free Wifi at Dome the rest of the day was spent catching up with the world and the inevitable shopping!
On the way through Meekatharra we detoured slightly to check out what was an old swimming hole when Mark worked there in the 70s. Now of course it is fenced off and one can't see the attraction as a swimming place - an old mining pit. 20180721_141026.jpg20180721_141102.jpg20180721_141129.jpg20180721_141003.jpg
Next day we left Newman around midday to head towards home and made it to a 24 hour stopover near Paynes Find which had toilets and enough wood to set up a campfire. As would be the case the heavens opened and we got the car lightly washed. There are always some silver linings!

Posted by Toot'speak 21:04 Tagged hill pool mine; nullagine;garden;roy; meeketharra Comments (0)

Mt Webber to Carrawine Gorge - Day 18 n 19

Mt Webber to Carrawine Gorge via Spear Hill and Comet Mines

Today we spent moving from the lovely lagoon at Mt Webber to another - Carrawine Gorge and on the way popped into an old tin mine site for a bit of supermarket shopping of the rusty kind and visited the old mine at Marble Bar.
Having spent a couple of days at Mt Webber listening to the incessant drone of the mining trucks going back and forth, it was time to take off further east towards Marble Bar, so we were up and at it early. Our first stop off was at the remains of an old tin mining township of Spear Hill Mine where nothing but the concrete bases of the homes remains.20180714_103956.jpg20180714_105510.jpg20180714_105333.jpg As you wander around you can see what a place it may have been with the bones of an old house and remnants of the garden that once was, the only indicator. We wandered around picking up the odd piece of rusty junk but the place had truly been cleaned up. 20180714_105113.jpg20180714_104940.jpg
Next stop was the Comet Mine just out of Marble Bar. The mine site is closed off to visitors but there is a museum run by a lovely ole gent who lives on site and is a mine of information. He had many tales about the mine and its history and it was a shame we couldn't go down and have a decent look. 20180714_124110.jpg20180714_124120.jpg
As we were aiming to head further east, we decided to have a quick lunch break in Marble Bar, refuel, clean the joint out of icecreams and pick up a few beers at the iconic pun. We left with a trusty book "Discovery trails to early Earth -- a traveller's guide to the east Pilbara of Western Australia"
Author: Van Kranendonk, MJ, Johnston, J., which gave us specific directions to assorted geological features. I was amazed to learn that the area we were traveling through had glacial history, and also learnt that our Ranger had the capabilities of providing us with specific lit and long data, after we had attempted to discover the features using mileage.20180716_105551.jpg20180716_100959.jpg
On arriving at Carrawine Gorge, we were lucky to have most of the lagoon to ourselves as it was the end of the school holidays and only a few campers left. Our camping area was sided by the lagoon which was sandwiched between a large wall of granite, and the washed away, very large scree of the previous water way. Apparently the 2006 cyclone completely denuded the river bank of mature red gums and all that's left is the huge area of washed rocks, pebbles and coarse sand made up of every type of mineral imaginable. The various car tracks that lead to the bank provide many stories of bogged cars and the squashed seedlings of the tough plants that attempt to get a footing in this rather hostile environment.. The lack of trees would make this place a hell hole in summer and the remaining paperbarks also show signs of previous floods and the damage they cause along with the tell tale signs of the odd chain saw. Still this is a rather popular site with the nomads who I believe camp here for months with some setting up cottage industries to help bring in some income.20180716_110635.jpg20180715_173307.jpg20180715_173221.jpg
The evening light was amazing and the temperature such that we decided to not light the fire and watched the sky lab cruise past accompanied by many satellites and the odd shooting star. Magic.
Next day we woke to the sounds of the birds going about their business and demanding we do the same. We decided to climb the nearby hill and took off with the midday sun to navigate between the spinifex and roughly cut rocks to the top. We were rewarded on the way with the appearance of the beautifully camouflaged spinifex pigeon poking its head out from under a bush. The view at the top was spectacular with the large lagoons nestled up against the huge red walls of the countryside and the appearance of a large sea eagle lazily riding the thermals above us. 20180715_122524.jpg
After such exertions we decided on resting the remainder of the day but I did try to have another attempt at having a hot shower. Like to report that the attempt was unsuccessful and I whooped into the quiet evening shattering the peace.

Posted by Toot'speak 03:26 Archived in Australia Tagged hill marble spear carrawine mine; bar; gorge; Comments (0)

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