Today we planned to take the ‘blue door’ car tour and, deciding that the day was going to be even hotter than previous days we planned on getting this one done in the morning. Again it was traversing the dreadful gravel/rocky ‘streets’ into the large mining areas around town and finishing at the Kangaroo lady’s place for Mary to visit the collection of knick knacks on display. I spent the time trying to photograph some butterflies and some of the dangerous mine access pits.
In this hot weather I have been reading my Kindle story of John Forrest, an Australian explorer of some note (C 1870) who managed to cross the Nullarbor after Eyre had failed, and then went on to other fascinating explorer journeys. The Nullarbor expedition was especially meaningful as, last year, we traversed similar geography in a few hours and it took Forrest and his team months. Well worth a read Bushbaby team presently touring WA!
As the clouds gathered we faced the possibility of a storm and the wind became like an oven blast making the day quite unpleasant, so, like many other residents, we spent a fair bit of the afternoon in the van with the aircon going full blast. We had decided to do the ‘green car’ door tour late in the day as it finished, about sunset, at the highest point on the Ridge that stood above the vast flat plain surrounding us.
There were a few pointers to some local trees, including one tree hat was claimed to be the world’s only Opal Tree!!! Pull the other leg – anything to make a buck it seems. The track gradually rose to the high point that was very close to the site of the first opal strike many years ago. It also did provide a spectacular view as far as the eye could see and of the sun sinking in red, yellow and orange cloud formations that made this also a worthwhile visit.
In between the sunset shots there was time for a look and a photo of the uncompleted drinks can house. Eventually the darkness fell as the spectacular colour display gradually faded away and it was time to take the homeward challenge on an unlit and very rocky road that seemed to meander in and around the many mine shafts and back to the main highway. Because of the potential for a dispute with silly kangaroos we drove very slowly and navigated the hazards safely. What a good ute to manage all this rough stuff!!
A most enjoyable evening and worth the effort.
While I remember this unrelated point, we have bought yet another step for use in accessing the van. Followers of last year’s journey around Australia may recall that while busily engaged in taking photos of the Rabbit Cemetery in Farley, West Australia, the expensive step was left behind by the enthusiastic photographer. Well, this trip the replacement step was left behind at a free camp because the still enthusiastic photographer was too busy taking photos of feral goats to remember to load the step back into the van before departure. Fortunately a shop in Lightning Ridge stocked the exact model/s that we had forgotten, and so we again have a safe entry and exit of the van! I cannot reveal the person’s name as I will probably have to cook my own meals for the rest of this trip.