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Many Ghosts of the Gold Country - Days 4 & 5

Roaming around Cue

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Waking up in Charles Darwin Reserve to the sounds of birds arguing and people moving about made us up and at it by 7.30. We had a warmer night than previous; about 3 degrees. Packed up and ready to go the car started without a hiccup and we took off to Cue stopping off at the old gold rush place of Paynes Find, where we had hoped to show our eastern state members the town's gold battery and museum which houses the only remaining working gold battery in WA . Unfortunately it was closed for the holidays but we were able to give them a quick 30 sec guided tour of the remaining buildings.
Next stop was the another gold mining town of Mt Magnet where we waited over an hour for petrol and lunch mainly because of a lack of staff. I recall this being a problem over 5 years ago when we passed through. After a terrible lunch we visited their museum which has a great photography display and plenty of rusty machinery outside. We were very strong and didn't succumb to buying anything.
Before heading to Cue we decided to drive around Mt Magnet and did the Tourist Trail which took us up to the hill - Warramboo Hill - overlooking the town site. 847c5930-902d-11e8-b758-d537f1ef2695.jpg One can't really say this was a beautiful view but it does show one what harsh environments these outback places can be. The Trail took us to the area’s magnificent granite rock formations, including a natural amphitheatre, which is the remnant of an ancient waterfall, and cave and the Granites which hold significant cultural Aboriginal history.Granites.jpg3f120e30-9988-11e8-b8ca-bd9875104d06.jpg The Trail also takes one past the ruins or remains of the ghost town Lennonville and we checked out the cemetery. Along the way we visited the lonely grave of a mother and child who died of plague and are buried along way from anywhere. 578eb8b0-932e-11e8-aed1-05d6503f5728.jpg3e0517e0-932e-11e8-aed1-05d6503f5728.jpg
That night we camped at the tourist Park in Cue which is a great little Council run park with the best facilities we've come across over the years. We popped down to the local pub - The Murchison - and joined the tourists and locals to have a monstrous dinner and a neat bottle of Far-Cue SB. We were subjected to a very windy night and our fly over the camper must have kept all nearby awake. It made the most horrendous noise and we spent the night waiting for that ripppp sound as it took off. Fortunately for us we woke to another cool morning with our fly intact..

Day 5 - Roaming around back of Cue

We were awakened by the normal early morning sounds of a caravan park. There are always those who pack up and leave at the crack of dawn, those who chat loudly on their way to or from the amenities and the odd shush from a worn out mother as she tries to keep the 3 year old quiet, and that crow which follows us around the Pilbara, squawking away to his mates very loudly and regularly - hence we were up and away at a respectable time to roam around the surrounding areas of Cue. Our car started without mishap.
First stop at Walga Rock in the Weld Range about 50 kms from Cue with its very impressive Aboriginal art gallery including a drawing of a sailing boat - why way out here still not ascertained and although various theories abound, so far none of these have been conclusively proven or disproven. This Walga Gallery, dated with radio-carbon tests by archaeologists to about 10,000 years old, has extensive paintings of snakes, emus, kangaroos, footprints, boomerangs and hand motifs. One wonders how long these amazing Aboriginal art works will remained untouched as, to date, there has been no security built protecting this gallery and we were able to wander at large along the wall.
We walked or hiked up over the rock checking out the gamma pools that were filled with fairy, clam and shield shrimps. 17082d90-9977-11e8-b70e-dfeff6280197.jpg20180701_102849.jpgOne of the gang was able to contact a friend who has extensively studied these animals at this site so we were able to confirm specimen collection requirements. A couple of hours were spent absorbed checking out the geology, biology and even scats found on the mount. Lunch was eaten under the mistletoe adorning the trees while we watched the colourful finches swoop around the area.
We then set off to visit the remains of Big Bell township, the magnificent two story brick pub being one of the few remains in the grid-shaped town. da5917f0-9977-11e8-b70e-dfeff6280197.jpgWandering thru the pub, circa 1930, one can see what a lovely place it would have been with the tiled walls, polished floor boards and high ceilings with an elegant fire place in the corner. Several bits of rusty iron were removed to clutter some other abode.
After Big Bell it was off to Poona for emerald fossicking. On the way we stopped off at an abandoned station homestead with shearing shed full of the old machinery, the quarters, a 2-bog outhouse and the most amazing sheep corral made from beautifully old 3 foot high wooden posts tightly wire bound zig zagging around the yard. Definitely a work of art. Also found were a couple of perfectly preserved owls which were bagged by our ornithologist for further analysis. Of course other bits of useless junk were squirreled away in assorted cars.4c7ab490-997a-11e8-a8a3-37873c7a10ed.jpg4b8705c0-997a-11e8-89b8-c7c929240a6f.jpg3123cdd0-997a-11e8-89b8-c7c929240a6f.jpg
At Poona, after couple hours of bottoms up and g-picks swinging, a very modest picking was collected, hardly enough for a nose ring! This mine has an unsuccessful history with huge amounts of cash invested for very little reward. Currently one person appears to have an lease and the rest of the site is discarded mining mess and desecration.e735c240-997a-11e8-89b8-c7c929240a6f.jpg857fdf90-997a-11e8-89b8-c7c929240a6f.jpg855992e0-997a-11e8-a8a3-37873c7a10ed.jpg
Home back to Cue in the dark followed by our first vacuum packed steak with vegetables and a drop of wine. We did wander down the very empty main street to the servo for a icecream and on the way back bumped into fellow travelers who had opted for a night in the Queen of the Murchinson B&B which was one of Cue's old hotels. We joined them for a peak of the lovely old building which has been sympathetically restored and remodeled for its new occupation. The 13 month old owners had participated in a movie "Dust Hunters" which was filmed in Cue this year-
to be seen in Nov at Cannes! We left their company and came back to do a late wash before bed. 9am ish start tomorrow.

Posted by Toot'speak 08:10 Tagged mt rock magnet poona cue walga Comments (0)

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