Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oct 16

So is today the day we will make our millions and find a great big sapphire lying in a river bed with our name on it?  In Wilton I bought Alan a lucky stone, so far it has not found us any gems to pay for our holiday.  Mind you, the chap who sold it refused to take my money for it with the comment 'it is a lucky stone, it has not cost you anything' :)

After rain all night we woke this morning to clear blue skies, not a cloud in sight.  How wonderful to see the gray has passed over, it was starting to look too much like the UK for our liking.
The clear blue sky, not a cloud in sight.
A 26km journey ahead of us, much of which was off road and after all the rain was mud.  Alan was in his element spinning the wheel this way and that to avoid the ruts, ditches, cows etc.

We tried several spots, this place was better than Yowah in the there were no signs telling us to keep out or we would be prosecuted for trespassing onto an claimed area, and it was so pretty too being in the hills with trees all around us.  Now for the pretty picture of the day <g>

We tried this place and that, got the spade out and dug here and there, pottered around this gully and that gully but nothing jumped out at us with our name on it.  Time to get back into the car and go look somewhere else, just a well we are only doing this for fun and not for a living!!

Ooops, car decided to go down instead of forward, it would not go back either.  We had somehow managed to land in a bog hidden in the grass.  I suspect it was once a pit that had been back-filled and with all the rain had turned into a rather deep bog, just big enough to get the Land Cruiser stuck in, for all the world it was made to measure.  Out with the spade again along with the Maxtraxs we bought in Darwin and plan to take back to Saudi with us.

Dig here, try, no luck, dig there, try again, still stuck and so it went on for about an hour with me feeding Alan water and Alan digging.

Time to give up and seek help, we were bogged down to the axle and until the land dried out a bit we were not going anywhere.  Time to put our survival knowledge into action.  Lots of water needed, all we could carry, torch and spare batteries, lighters, hats, boots, painkillers, anti-septic wipes, plasters, passports etc and off we went with Alan also carrying the Sat Nav and GPS so we knew where we were going.

Crocodile Dundee heading into the unknown!!!
On the way in we had seen several temporary huts obviously used by fellow fossickers who carried out this work on a more serious basis than us so we knew we were OK and not in any real difficulty.  If the worst came to the worst we would become squatters for the night to keep warm.  About half an hour, after trampsing through long grass, up and down gullies and along tracks we spotted the first residence, fingers crossed somebody would be there with a vehicle and the capability to pull us out the bog.

The first home we called at
Nobody at home, just our luck but we still had three hours of daylight so off we set again up and down more gullies and through the grass up to our thighs.  Not long after, another abode and signs of life, somebody with a pick doing some gardening.  We called out but no answer so we boldly marched on in looking like Crocodile Dundee and his sidekick.  It turned out the lady did not have her hearing aid in and did not hear us.  Another figure appeared and bless his cotton socks he downed his tools and offered to help immediately.  And so we met Tommy and Beulah, a wonderful couple in their 70's.  I stayed with Beulah who put in her hearing aid so we could chat while Alan and Tommy set off to de-bog the cruiser.  About an hour later Tommy reappeared, no luck and another friend of his (the one who lived at the first place we called at) refused to take his Land Cruiser to the area and would not help.  Guess what, he was a Brit!!!!!!!  Tommy packed up some more equipment and headed back to Alan and Beulah and I continued to chat over a beer.

Tommy and Beulah lived about 150km away and for the past 30 years had been coming to this location fossicking for sapphires.  They had a caravan which they left at their 'second home' as they called it and a large corrugated iron roof covering over the top, the carpet was gravel stones to keep the dust and mud problem down, the loo was a long-drop and the bathroom was the creek.  They had gas operated fridges to keep the beer cold and a bed outside in case they chose not to sleep in the caravan.  What a wonderful home, I am so jealous, the views, the trees, the wildlife, all so perfect.

Tommy and Beulah's 'second home'
To end the story, Alan managed to get the Land Cruiser out on his own while Tommy had come back for extra items, the time had dried the mud around the wheels just enough for the Max Tracks to kick into action. Tommy met Alan at the road end and they both came back to us for a beer and a long chat. What a truly wonderful couple, so genuine and in love with the simple life like us, we can't thank them enough for their generosity and willingness to open their arms to us.  We have an invite back too, bring your tent, camp with us, we will show you how to fossick for sapphires and where to look etc.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we managed to take them up on their offer.

Night was setting in and we had to say our good-byes and head back to our rather posh cabin at the Emerald Valley Caravan Park Retreat for hot soup and an early night.

1 comment:

  1. What an adventure - OK, maybe you did not find a sapphire but you did hit gold when you found your two DIAMONDS - Tommy and Beuliah. Hope you do get to take them up on their invitation in the future. Actually, as I was reading about the lansd cruiser stuck in the bog I was thinking that when you got it unstuck the biggest sapphire ever found was just laying there .... hope Alan checked Love you loads xxx


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