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Back in Menzies (pop; 51)

Made it back into Menzies, without a map.
This place is seriously dying.
Used to have a population of a few thousand, when there was gold in them thar hills, now there are great big gaps in the high street where salloons, hotels, stores and the like were all shoulder to shoulder.
The few remaining buildings are pretty decrepid too now.
It's a trucker's half hour break town now.
The town Hall is a listed building and has been kept up. The clock there has a story to it, here
14th Sep 2009, 02:24   comments (2)

Some HDR-ness

HDR El-dorado here Boet!
14th Sep 2009, 02:17   comments (9)

The long and (not so) winding road....

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This is a typical outback dirt road.
The scale is just awesome here, everything just goes on and on and on for ever!
When we reached the "end' of the track at the horizon there was just the same scene sitting there waiting for us. Went on for about two hours (@ 110km/h).
Unfortunately I'd forgotten to bring any kind of map (we had a travel book of Australia in general with us, the goldfields area took up about half a page).
Sense of direction brought us back to Menzies though, in the end.
14th Sep 2009, 02:13   comments (6)

Danger!!

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This (not so) little critter was hiding in a Kangaroo footprint on the salt lake.
I think it's a Wolf spider, one of the many dangerous biters out here.
It was about half the size of a man's hand.
Made me jump a bit!
14th Sep 2009, 02:07   comments (13)

Menzies & Lake Ballard

Menzies (pop 55) is about an hour and a half drive further into the outback from Kal and Lake Ballard is another 51km's on dirt roads from there (hence the 4x4).

Antony Gormley has 52 stylised statues out on the salt lake, similar to the Crosby beach instalation near Liverpool.

There was nobody there!

The wind was blowing at a good force 8+ but it was very warm.
Walking out to some of the farthest statues was fairly easy to do in this springtime heat but I think you'd have to be careful in the hight of summer.

The ground underfoot was just about stable, a thin crust of salt over a layer of slippery clay. People before us, perhaps even just the day before, had left some pretty deep prints, and there'd been some eejits tearing about on motorbikes recently.

Very impressive place. We went away and came back for later for the sunset.
13th Sep 2009, 02:25   comments (11)

Kalgoorlie - Boulder, day 1

Arrived on the "Prospector" at about 14.30 on the Wednesday.
Our hotel was just across the street from the station.

Kalgoorlie is a goldmining town with some 30,000 residents. It has a bit of a "wid-west" reputation but it's really quite civilised. (the brothels are all tucked away down one street, Hays street, just off Hannan street, a bit behind Woolworths. Oops, how would I know that??).

We hired a big 4,5 litre V8 "ute" for the duration and headed straight up to the Super Pit, just on the edge of town.

350 metres deep (at the moment, it's planned to go down as far as 500 metres before it's close in 2017.
More on the Superpit later, I (only) had the 135mm lens with me that day but the late afternoon light was bringing out the colours beautifully.

Could't resist gettng a HDR & a Pano in there (this place is HDR-heaven Boet) but the panorama shot dosn't come out too well here, it's actually about nine metres wide!
13th Sep 2009, 01:33   comments (8)

Wednesday; on the "Prospector" to Kalgoorlie

With Maxine in Adelaide we went, as planned, on the 6 1/2 hour train journey to Kalgoorlie, way out East into the outback.
A very comfortable, if small, train.
Showers & 18 degrees caused a nice rainbow at departure.
The swirly thing in the air at the last photo, taken out the window as we passed this salt-lake, is caused by the double-polarising effect of my lens filter and the tinted train window.
25 degrees & sunshine in Kalgoorlie - Boulder.
13th Sep 2009, 01:02   comments (4)

Mum's 75th!

Tuesday was Mum's big birthday, many congrats Mum, again.

Maxine had to fly to Adelaide for a conference that day but flaars were lovely and we'll all be celebrating (again) tomorrow.

We drove out to Hillary's boat yard for a mooch about and a bite to eat, then on down to Cottersloe beach, towards Freemantle.
We'll go back one evening this week for fish'n'chips because the sun sets over that horizon in a pretty spectacular manner.

Mum went beach-combing and came back with a bag full of old combs.
Not realy, just loads of "fishy" things, sponges and the like, that stinked-up the car for a couple of days.

The surf was 'up' (as they say) and dozens of die-hards were in the water braving the spring temperatures.

There was also a wake, or memorial going on. A 47 year-old feller had died of the Swine-flu, fit, surfer, healthy, not ill, just caught it and died.
Hundreds of surfer-dudes went out onto that breakwater, music playing, while dozens of his mates paddled out and formed a big ring, holding hands and chearing for him, then all surfed in together.
12th Sep 2009, 15:42   comments (13)