Saturday, 22 June 2013

We are on the way home.

"Where are you now?" you ask.  Well, we are well on the homeward journey as we are now in SA, at Port Lincoln.  It's wet and very windy here so we know it's not far now. Ben, if you are reading, you Driza-Bone from Chalice is getting a good outing! Millie will be happy to be liberated from the detention centre soon.

As I said in the last post, there won't be anything too exciting from now on. After we left Exmouth and headed south along the coast, we called in to Coral Bay to have a look as we had heard it was a nice place to spend a few days.  It certainly is!

We'll definitely be back there sometime.  That night it was just an overnight roadside stop, but this one was a bit different.  It was on top of a hill overlooking the ocean (quite a bit distant).

There was an area here with a lots of stones with memory messages placed in piles.  There was also another pile of rocks with lots of garden gnomes.

More sunset shots, I'm sorry!  But you have to admit the sunsets in the west are spectacular.

After a little bit further south down the coast, we headed east through Mt Magnet and had an overnight stop in a very small town called Sandstone. Lots more long straight roads along the way.  

Most of the people staying in the caravan park at Sandstone were gold prospectors.  Not the sort you might picture, but grey nomads just like us!

As we headed to Kalgoorlie from Sandstone, it was a succession of mining areas.We then had a couple of days in Kalgoorlie.  Ben had spent a few years here some time ago so we were interested to see some of the things he had talked about.  The super pit was just amazing. 

This has been dug on what was the original Golden Mile, and is several of the older mines joined together in one pit to make recovery of the gold easier.  Alan Bond started the idea in 1985 and it is now HUGE.  The photos don't really show how big it is, but if you can make out any ants crawling along the paths, they are those huge trucks used in the mines.  Their tyres are taller than a person, and they really did look like ants.  They have 31 of those trucks, costing $4 million dollars each, and they are just going up and down the tracks constantly.  It certainly is impressive.  This is how big the bucket on one of the diggers is.

We also visited the Museum there which naturally is centred around the mining in the area.  Outside the museum is some sort of large tower that is used in mining.  (Sorry I should have paid more attention to the signs!)

You can go to the top of this structure, and see a different view of Kalgoorlie from there.

Kalgoorlie was much bigger than I had expected, with a population of about 32,000.  We stayed in the caravan park at Boulder.  Several local people told us that the area is not as busy as it used to be and it was very quiet in the centre of Kalgoorlie.  In Boulder, there were a lot of empty shops and the shopping area looked very run down.
Some of the architecture in Kalgoorlie is beautiful, particularly the hotels.  They were all built around 1900.  We had dinner in the York Hotel one night and it was lovely inside.  The staircase is particularly impressive.

When you stand and look at some of the buildings, you can just imagine some of the stories and memories that they hold.

Then it was south to Norseman, and we passed Chalice Mine, where Ben used to work, on the way.  More long straight roads.

I know these photos of the roads all look the same, but I'm just trying to show those of you who might not have been in WA (as we hadn't until now) what it is like.  It's hard to imagine how much driving is done without seeing much of anything!

After Norseman it was abit further south and then turning eastward towards the Nullabor.  Another overnight roadside stop (no sunset photo this time) somewhere, can't really remember where.

Then lots more long straight road - over 140 kms along the Nullabor without even a bend in the road.  

We stopped at the Head of the Bight for a photo opportunity.  Wouldn't be a good place to be shipwrecked!

We were soon into SA and heading for some familiar weather, wet and windy! Overnight stop next was at another very small town, Penong.  This seems to be a wheat growing area.  The caravan park was quite small, but was one of the neatest we have ever seen.  Even the gravel was raked!
Next morning we passed through Ceduna, and handed over all our fruit and vegetables at the quarantine stop.  We had decided that we would take a bit of extra time and make our way down the Eyre Peninsula to Port Lincoln.  We had a look at Streaky Bay, which we had also heard was an interesting destination, and decided it was certainly worth another visit some time.  Elliston was another place which I wanted to see.  Deb, if you are reading, it was lovely.  I can see why it is so special for you.
We are now spending a couple of very wet windy nights at Port Lincoln.  No photos, it's too wet and grey outside.  We did venture out today for a brisk walk to the marina area.  This ended up being a 12 km hike up and down hills.     Fortunately it was punctuated half way with a lovely lunch and a couple of glasses of local wine.  Unfortunately we didn't take a map with us, got a little confused about the way back and it was uphill most of the way!  Currently sitting on the couch with the heater on, watching the football and nursing all the sore spots.
Tomorrow we will head off up the eastern side of the Peninsula, through Tumby Bay.  I want to see this place, the name just sounds so interesting.  There might be a couple more stops before we get home, so stay tuned.  See you all soon. xxx


  1. What's that on the front of the beast in photo 3? Not some sort of Coolgardie safe is it?
    Also you mentioned some places Ben talked about, where are the photos of Hay St?

  2. I had a look at the photo and it's a mat that had got a bit wet. We did drive up Hay St and saw one of those places. It's the only one left now, and you can take guided tours (without samples, I think). I'm sure Ben didn't mention any of those places!