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Mining Delights - Day 7

Natural Supermarket for rocks and rusty collectables

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Morning starts to the sounds of birds and, having had a comparably warm night compared to earlier nights, we rose to another fine day with the possibility of rain later in the day. This meant for plan changes as the road in would change to a quagmire and we would have problems getting back to the other side of the lagoon. We also had time to take in our glamping style of toilet as we were provided with an outhouse of elegant proportions. The oldstyle, but new, thunderbox was enclosed in its own annex, decorated with pink ribbon so we could find our way across the gibble plain. 32514990-9ba4-11e8-9faf-751f23e67551.jpg
We spent the morning checking out the Horseshoe Lights mine site, fossicking through the tailing mountains that have been left to the natural forces. As these heaps have not been restored, not a twig has grown on the sides and a very large collection of stark, barren hills stands as a reminder to the earlier days of mining without responsibility of our lands. Needless to say the geos in the group attacked the huge assortment of rocks, completely overwhelmed by the choice.
Following this supermarket of rocks, we then set out for some serious shopping at the tip! Aside from the huge amount of plastic rubbish that clogged the entrance way, we were invited into a magnificent smorgasbord of rusty bits and pieces, ladders from a swimming pool, a concoction of engine parts, old signs along with huge amounts of mining materials that the company had chucked away. Despite the size of choice, our lads were remarkably restrained and only a few bits were souvenired. Unfortunately we were yet to pass the other tip site where articles of machinery were piled up neatly for removal and 40 odd years later were still waiting for the truck! A bit more serious damage was done here where we all got into the helpful state of finding more rubbish for Mark to bring home! After much chipping and hammering we got a couple of wheels to leave their other parts and join us in the car. We now have more weight than we started!20180703_102547.jpg
In between shopping we walked up the hill to look down into the huge disused open pit mine with its circular road winding down to a very copper blue lake below. Although not as large as Kalgoorlie's open pit, it still makes a mark. We drove up to look at the processing plant where the colours of the surrounds indicate mercury and the wind blew sweet smells of sulphur. The surrounding heaps of land fill hadn't been properly treated or contained and you could see where the contaminated remains were seeping out into the countryside. I hope my beef doesn't come from there!20180703_122002.jpg30fd9ba0-998f-11e8-971d-f3b2c3f60993.jpg20180703_112823.jpg20180703_112245.jpg
Back to camp for lunch followed by an amble down stream to check out the river course. We came across a couple of small ponds and a cluster of magnificent river gums with their trunks laden with the debris of the last flood that passed their way. We also came across the tracks of what could be a dingo or wild dog family that had come down to water.20180704_094220.jpg20180703_152945.jpg20180703_152525.jpg
That night was spent under an ever increasing layer of rain bearing clouds. We woke to the sound of rain, snug in the knowledge that the camper had been out in the rain for nearly a week before we left n we should have no leaks! We were blessed.

Posted by Toot'speak 09:11 Archived in Australia Tagged lights horseshoe Comments (0)

This is the end - Day 6

We start afresh

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Well this day starts well with flat battery again! Given this car has spent more time at the mechanics than on the road gives one the pips! Luckily we're with mates and a u- beaut gizmo is produced which jump starts the ranger and allows us to head to Meekathara to buy, along with groceries, fried chicken, petrol and a fancy battery for $210! This of course delayed our expected departure to Honeymoon Pool for lunch. I could only hope it was someone else's turn to have car problems!
We started the off road to a local watering hole cum camping place - Bunyiah Pool - which provided the local cattle with a place to huddle and eat. While the water was a tad brown, we were provided with a frenzied collection of birds - honey eaters, grebes, ducks, heron, galahs and parrots; no fish. Lunch done under tall white river gums we set off for our final resting point for the next few days. ac9112e0-998c-11e8-a894-4780aaba62c1.jpgSharing.jpg
We passed a "legacy" gold or copper mine - Horseshoe Lights - which was active back in the 1970s and 80s and the owners up and left the place without any environmental restoration. This was not a requirement in the 1970s and any form of restoration or environmental protection, is well and truly defunct now and chemicals leach out into the surrounding countryside which still holds cattle. It is an ugly, environmentally unsafe and unhealthy place and a disgrace to the mining industry. When you see the restoration efforts put into the mine sites by mining industry today, this must be an embarrassment. 3e46c920-902b-11e8-ad47-f12c37ee2697.jpg3f08b990-902b-11e8-ad47-f12c37ee2697.jpg3e4d7fe0-902b-11e8-bdf3-2f8e9d79c3e7.jpg20180703_094138.jpgbd7b3680-998c-11e8-a894-4780aaba62c1.jpg
Passing this sad piece of history which we will be revisiting, we forded a crossing, and parked for the next 3 days beside a large lagoon flanked by many river gums along side the water line and a large gibble plane which was a sure ankle breaker. Our leader has named it Honeymoon Pool. We expertly put our camper up in the daylight, joined the rest for a champagne at twilight and knocked off a curry that I had vacuum-packed. Easy! We also had the pleasure of a beautiful clear night sky and one of our fellow travelers, whose expertise is astronomy, gave us the benefit of his knowledge along with the ubiquitous green laser light! Many planes and satellites were recorded and maybe we saw the night lab cruising past.bc2f2e80-998c-11e8-a894-4780aaba62c1.jpg

Posted by Toot'speak 08:17 Archived in Australia Tagged lights mt pool horseshoe bunyiah Comments (0)

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