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Lightning Ridge - exploring the Chambers of the Black Hand

sunny 40 °C

Sunday 26th

A cooler night thanks to the lower temperature in the van to start with enabled a better sleep. A nice shower helped to start an already warm morning and we decided to visit the famous Chambers of the Black Hand attraction nearby. The rocky road there kept us at walking pace and we only just made the attraction by starting time.

This has been a working opal mine for a number of years until the owner got a bit bored with digging for opal and started to carve a simple ‘Welcome’ sign. This gradually developed into an unexpected passion for sculpture and today the two major underground levels are filled with an amazing array of sculpture and artwork covering ancient Egyptian art, religious art, comic art and some very telling political art (especially so because of artist Ron’s ability to change any sculpture with a slice of his knife – and a certain couple of senior politicians have been amazingly ‘transformed’ with pertinent results in the art!!).

The two plus hours on this fascinating place is worth the journey here to see and it has been acclaimed widely as a special place of culture. We would visit them again, especially as these real opal miners have all the necessary knowledge of their industry to make everything easy to understand and enjoy.

On leaving the mine Mary complained of feeling quite unwell so we ended up spending some 2-3 hours (in airconditioning so that was the one bonus!) at Lightning Ridge Hospital seeing a doctor to resolve her back pains. A very tired doctor was very helpful and eventually we returned to camp for a light lunch and rest.

Later we decided to enjoy another of the local attractions, namely the famous ‘car door’ sightseeing self-drive tours to visit local sights and designed to (hopefully) persuade you to buy their opals!

A nice ice-cream helped to keep us cool and so we returned again to prepare for a cooler evening, including a brief swim in the park pool. Very nice change it was too.

Posted by psstevo 21:08 Archived in Australia

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