Right now for our adventure. We headed off in the right direction but missed China Wall totally, no signposts anywhere and it is only 6km outside of Halls Creek. Never mind, keep driving, who know what we will find. Ah, this looks interesting, Old Halls Creek, the original location before the town was up-routed to its present location on the Northern Highway in 1948. There is not much left here now, just a few stones blocks, some with names on, stating what shop it was etc. Most of the signs are missing, we were reliably informed they had been stolen by folks, how typical is that.
|Old Halls Creek
|Gold separating plant
|Too quick for the camera, it was tied around my seat-belt somehow.
The scenery was once again awesome, greens, reds, blues everywhere you looked.
Alan has laughed at the roads, we are constantly being informed 'this is 4x4 wheel drive only' and Alan has hardly used 4x4 drive, nearly everything has been regular 2x driving with the occasional locking of the front wheel hubs. This track though was different, lots of proper 4x4 driving as the tracks were narrow, twisting, up and down, angled or washed away etc. I should have taken pictures but I was distracted <g>.
After pottering around for a an hour or so we came to a residence, the gate was open and we saw a sign for cold drinks and ice creams and 'Open' - great check this out. It looked like something long forgotten, hard to believe anybody lived here. Peering through the window we could see it was a shop of sorts inside but no lights on. Time to try the door, it did say 'Open', yep it was. Hello I called, half expecting a human to emerge and one did, a kid, then an adult. We bought a couple of ginger beers and got chatting to the owner, Martin. He had come to OZ in 1951 and in 94 had bought this property, he was the last gold miner left and it was his mining processing area we had stumbled upon. What a great bloke, and what stories to tell. We must have talked for an hour or so, he told us not to bother going back but to stay for a month, drive where we wanted, pitch a tent where we wanted, come work for him, buy his mine lol etc ect. He did tell us that we could go swimming in his pool, it was only 18km in that direction. Could this be another wild goose chase, a case of us having the micky taken out of us or genuine. Only one way to find out. We said our thanks and goodbyes which were totally genuine, he was so entertaining, and headed off in the general direction of his 'pool'. He grades his own roads and does a pretty good job but some areas were pretty cracked up and Alan was hopping in and out of 4x4 drive. After about an hour we found the 'pool' and what a pool it was, it was late in the afternoon and the sun would soon be coming down and once again we were awestruck, such beauty it took your breath away. I have had a hard time this morning choosing photos for the blog, we must have take about 400 in all, we just could not stop pressing the shutter and capturing the environment, the birds, the reflections, sunset. I have been told I talk lots about the sights and sounds but not about the smells, that is because the only smell is fresh air, no rubbish, no sewage, no body odour, no food cooking, no stagnant water, no nothing, just fresh air. So take in the views from the pics below adding in the sounds of birds and the occasional splash of water and the smell of clean, pure, air.
|Alan photographing the duck picture (second pic below this one)
Time to leave, the sun has set and we have to tackle the 18km of rough track in the dark!!!! One more sunset to close the blog for the day.
Leaving this location and driving the track in the dark I didn''t know whether to close my eyes, get out and walk, tell Alan this was ludicrous or just put all my trust in him and enjoy the experience. I did the latter, he is after all a wonderful driver. Quite suddenly my eyes welled up, no I was not sad, I think just so honestly enthralled with the oasis we had just visited, so truly privileged once again to have been allowed to feast my eyes and soul on such a wonderful experience, a location which felt untouched by human destruction. We stopped in at Martin's on the way back to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts for his generosity in allowing us to share this magical experience, I am lost for words.
Once last thing, I am uploading this blog on Sept 30 and today is Nikki's birthday, our youngest daughter so Happy Birthday Nikki, we love you to bits and back.
|Nikki, 2 hours old - Sept 30th 1982