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FROM LEONORA- GWALIA, KOOKYNIE ,LAKE BALLARD, NIAGARA DAM

June 27, 2013

25.6.13 at Niagara Dam #

After leaving Malcolm Dam on the 22.6.13 we stopped at Leonora, on the Goldfields Highway between Kalgoorlie & Leinster. First thing to do was to catch up with emails, texts etc. there is a rather good IGA in Leonora, although expensive which is to be expected out here. Bread $6.80! We did get a whole Scotch Fillet for $19/kilo which was a bonus. Out to the dump site & water filling tap, & there was a queue lined up there before us, including Lesley & Erich who were coming down to Niagara Dam with us.

These sculptures are all on a sign board where we filled up with water. Everything is associated with mining.
Driving down the highway & suddenly saw the sign for Gwalia- a Ghost Town in which the buildings- the ones not lived in- a being looked after by individuals as well as an Historical group of people. When we were here in 2010 this open cut mine was not working but now it is.

From memory of our stop in 2010 I think that next to the museum is the old which Edgar J. Hoover used to live in when he came here to start the mine. He later became US president. I think there is also an old home in Kalgoorlie which he lived in but feel free to correct me if my memory has failed me.

It is evident that there is a lot of mining being carried out here by the many vehicles & machinery.

There is evidence of an old swimming pool as well.

The Gwalia State hotel is a grand old building.

We wandered in and out of some of the derelict homes, some with the names of folk who are looking after them. Love the imagination shown in some of the gardens!

There is still evidence of what used to be a medical facility of some description. The middle photo below shows a machine used well before my nursing days but it does look familiar. The photo on the left shows an examination table, a bedside table & a commode chair I think.

The inside of the homes are a sight, with many types of utensils, beds, ways they did their cooking etc.
The man in the bed gave me a fright as I walked into this room- never expected to see a body on the bed.

Love this Tea tree!

Back onto the highway we drove south towards Niagara Dam where we were going to spend a few nights. We liked it in 2010 so hopefully it will be just as good- which it is. The wall was built in 1897 to provide water for the nearby town as well as the steam engines extending north from Menzies. This camp spot has dump points, very clean windy loos, rubbish bins as well as a gas bbq.
We set up with Lesley & Erich.

There are two marked walks, with signs, one around the dam and the other away from the dam & they are only short walks. Feels as though we could be walking on the moon!
Have seen some different flowers just starting to appear as well.

The Wattles, Gums & Erimofolas are all in bud or starting to blossom.
The first night the reflections on the water , with only one water bird to be seen.

Sunday we decided to take a drive down to Menzies & out to see the “Inside Australia” sculptures out at Lake Ballard- my opinion- been there, done that! Yes a lot of thought & work has been put into this display of 51 laser scans of Menzies residents, then cast in alloy containing metals that are found in the Achaean rock of WA. They were commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of the Perth.
International Arts Festival in 2003. More impressive was the expanse of the area where the sculptures have been placed

We did not walk around to the 51 as would have taken far too long as well as the ground still very sticky .

There are signs asking vehicles not to be driven but there are many tracks of quad bikes as well as vehicles. These were our foot prints- the soil was very sticky in parts.
Two ladies were very industrious & rubbed their names into the sand. Andrea & Eva

It was so windy we had to put the burner in the shelter of the toilet block to boil the water for a cuppa.

This bush is a deep burgundy colour.
The tiny town of Menzies has shown what it used to be like with alloy signs showing where various shops were situated- there were too many to photograph them all- Bruce took photos while I caught up with emails etc.

This frog is beside the Goldfields Highway.

When we got back from Menzies drove the extra 9ks into the living Ghost town of Kookynie, which we had seen in 2010.

There is no evidence of the town of Niagara, just this sign.

Monday morning we got visitors- Catriana & Chuck arrived for a few days & was so good to see them again. Fortunately a van pulled out & they pulled in beside us. Lesley & Erich decided to stay the night before leaving to head south. Had a great camp fire for cooking dinner etc. We had collected timber on the way in as there were signs that there was no fire wood in at the dam.
Lesley & I were sitting beside the dam having a drink when noticed this light across the dam- could not work out what it was though. Suggestions were a train but the line was behind us, maybe another caravan we had not noticed, maybe a truck. Lesley made the comment that it was coming closer & getting brighter- maybe a spaceship!!!
Suddenly it dawned on me that it was the moon rising! Duh! and we had had only one glass of wine. Apparently it was a super moon which I had heard news about. Got a few photos but then it vanished into the clouds.

There had been some nice cloud reflections on the still water before the moon rose.

The butcher bird was very quiet & came under the awning a few times and this pair of parrots were frequent visitors.
Chuck & Catriana found an old railway sleeper for our fire with the first one lasting from about 3pm until we went to bed about 9pm. I cooked a casserole Monday night while Lesley did lamb shanks for their dinner . Catriana & Chuck had pork & spuds in the ashes.
Lesley & Erick pulled out yesterday (Tuesday) morning & not long after Chris & Val arrived & pulled into their site.
To-day, Wednesday the men drove out & came back with 3 more sleepers so the fire was started by lunch time. Weather still overcast with sun trying to come out. Bruce has been busy washing the van & car the past 2 days & they do look much better.
I still can not get internet, even with the high van aerial- yet both the Nussbaumers & Martins both got phone & internet! Shall have another go to-morrow.
An awful day but the camp fire helped a little. Spent most of afternoon then evening by the fire, cooking & eating out there. Have been using the fire to boil all water needed, cuppas as well as washing up.
Late in the afternoon Catriana notice a full rainbow with a second one evident. Was had to get the full rainbow in the photo but managed to stitch two together.

THURSDAY 27.6.13
Woke this morning to a sunrise at last. Donned Dressing gown, gloves, beanie, ugg boots & took a blanket & chair & cuppa out to the water front. For a change there was no breeze so the water was relatively smooth making for better photos.

The sunlight on the wall of the dam was rather nice as well, especially on the rock.

Before The Coulls & Martins left us.
Ah well, all good things have to come to an end. It is such a pity we all live so far apart, most in different states.
More when we move on from here which will be up to Sandstone, Mt Magnet then down to Mullewa & wild flowers. Safe travel dear friends.

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6 Comments
  1. Suzi Q permalink

    You looked very cold at Lake Ballard Kay, and Bruce looked a little too interested on that female statue. LOL. Loved your pics – as always. Travel safe.

  2. Daryl Nelson permalink

    Thank you again, Lots of great and interesting photo’s in this lot, We just recieved another lot of photo’s from the same area, from friends that must be just in front of you, or just behind you, they are part of The Bayside Wanderers caravan club from Melb so if you spot a 20′ van towed by a Holden Jackaroo [ maroon colour ] say Hi from me, Their names are Mavis and Ed,
    Meanwhile keep these posts coming , i am enjoying and dreaming, 12 more months and goodbye work ? hello freedom.

    • Glad you still enjoying photos- your time will come Daryl then make the most of it while you can. We have a couple of friends who, because of ill health, have had to stop. Kay

  3. Smokey Dave permalink

    Boy you lot are having so much fun

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