Sunday, 4 September 2016

Back to Sandstone

Well our decision was to head back to Sandstone, we didn't set off till nearly lunch time as weather was cool and cloudy and we spent time chatting with Ron. Weather improved as we headed out and we got site 33 at Sandstone, site 34 last time so like coming home. Weather warm and sunny and we spent Friday and Saturday morning out prospecting, no gold.. Saturday was a bit frustrating as Brian had trouble with the re-chargeable batteries and we decided to finish about 12.30 and headed back by a different track, it was an old fence line with the wire laying on the ground and sometimes narrower than what we like, got towards the end and lots of wire on the ground so I decided to get out and check we weren't going to get wire trapped around the wheels and tripped over said wire! very unladylike like sprawl but no damage. Didn't get back to camp till 2 pm, track was a bit longer and slower than we realised!! 
Saturday night was pizza night ordered from William our fruit and veg man and we watched movie Mama Mia with a bottle of wine.
We were planning on leaving today, Sunday, but Kerry one of the permanent guys was taking a few people out on a tag a long so Brian joined them, I opted to stay at camp, gave the van a tidy and clean etc, they all got back about 1.30 but no gold but think good fun for them all.
Will start heading home to Albany tomorrow 
Detecting time

Made sure car is parked in the shade
Bentley is enjoying a bone from Brian's tea last night

William and his fruit and veg stall, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings, always get a Vienna loaf from him plus a Lamington, plus vegies.
Very big Lamington for our morning tea while prospecting.
Pizza for tea, vegatarian on the left, meat on the right, very yummy.

Night sky last night with a sliver of the moon and a star

Brian didn't get gold today but brought back this horseshoe, pretty big and old, Clydesdale maybe 

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Have had a couple of days in Leinster, no gold found but has been a good little spot.
Caravan park $20 a night and the washing machines were free!  Which was good as I had a lot of washing to do. Leinster is a mine town, main mine BHP nickel mine,  and a gold mine somewhere, so basically everything here is owned by BHP, there is a large area of SPQ which is Single Person Quarters and they have a mess hall where the workers eat, it's open to the public at $20 for evening meal. We decided to give it a try with another couple we met Rob and Margaret, we walked down from the caravan park about 6pm, should have gone earlier as the shift was just finished and we were surrounded by miners in their high vis vest, but no worries we just queued up at the buffet, plenty to eat. I had crumbed fish, vegies bake, parsnip chips and lots of vegies, Brian had lots of meat of course and pork ribs, food was really good and plentiful. Salad bar, dessert bar tea and coffee, it was a good night, Rob and Margaret are from Tasmania, heading to Kalgoorlie to visit family and a little prospecting on the way.
Ron and Brian went out prospecting today and I stayed at camp, walked down to the shopping centre and the cafe opened its doors for the first time so I went in and had a coffee and donut! 
Weather has turned stormy tonight with strong winds, moving on tomorrow but not sure where? Choices are back to Sandstone or carry on to Leonara and Kalgoorlie, not decided yet........
Caravan park sign, looks eerie doesn't it
Shopping centre!! Supermarket and very new cafe and today the op shop was open

Leinster village, SPQ and mess hall, reverse parking seems popular in Leinster

The only place not owned by BHP
Caravan park

Monday, 29 August 2016

Exploring wild flowers and some prospecting

As we haven't ventured on a trip over east etc we decided this year to take some shorter trips, the first was in June when we spent 3 weeks in Sandstone and spent time prospecting, found two small pieces of gold, unfortunately we hit some wet and cold weather and I didn't take many photos of that time, but this trip we have travelled through some lovely wildflower areas as well as some prospecting.
We started off about 10 days ago and left Albany and headed for York as our first overnight stop and it rained the whole way, we camped in York by the river, free and managed to hook up to power, which was good as the first thing I did when we stopped was put on the heater.... After York the weather improved and we travelled along some lovely wildflower areas, stopping at Canna, a very small place where free camping is allowed behind a hall, next to a church and again power, lovely spot and a small walk through the wildflower, two other vans there and a campfire. Our next stop was Yalgoo Caravan Park, not a long journey but we did a few detours for wildflowers. Yalgoo has some potential for gold so we were allowed on a lease near town to prospect but didn't manage to find anything.   After two days there we travelled to My Magnet, which is on th Great Northern Hwy, busier town, stayed in the caravan park. The town is almost surrounded by working mines and we had to get permission to prospect, they gave us a small area to prospect on, not far from town and in the first half hour we found a small piece of quartz with gold in..... But even though we went back the next day that was our only find there. We had to report to the mine office what we had found and where, and they were very impressed with the find and said the area we found it in had been gone over hundreds of times, so we felt lucky to have found it.
Our next stop was Sandstone and we arrived in sunshine and parked next to an Avan who turned out to be a friend,  Ron from Albany.... Next day was cloudy and cold, we went out with Ron to a patch he found gold on but it started to rain after about an hour there so it was back to camp, it rained steadily all day, next day Sunday wasn't much better not much rain but cold and windy, got maybe an hour out prospecting. 
Today Monday still heavy clouds and as Ron knew the Leinster area we decided to head there. Leinster is a mine town and we arrived around lunch today, staying at the caravan park
Our camp at Canna between Morawa and Mullewa
Church at camp area, still used

Donkey Orchid

Spider Orchid

Wreath Flowers at Pindar on the way to Yalgoo
Jokers Tunnel around Yalgoo, didn't walk through to the end, but did see others venture in
Rock formations around Mt Magnet

Our piece of Quartz with gold in, found at Mt Magnet

Friday, 4 September 2015

Nearly Home

After leaving Sandstone we moved slowly South, sometimes East going through small Wheatbelt towns that we hadn't been through for a long time. Managed to find some great free camps along the way.

One of them was Latham Community Centre, a free camp at a very small town, no shop, just a PO operating for one hour each morning and a small school which is due to close at the end of the year. The community Centre was new, great shower and toilets, looked after by a resident who was very passionate about the area and appreciated a donation, with the donations she plans to plant trees and will put a tag on with names of the people, we hope to go back one day and see if there is a tree marked Brian, Gill and Bentley.....

Our next site was an abandoned town called Minnivale, still a few houses around and the ruins of a bakery, we had heavy rain driving into here, but the next morning was fine and we had a walk around for photos.

We camped at another abandoned town, Kwolyin, 40ks from Bruce Rock, great free campground with toilets and camp kitchen, nothing at all left of a town, except the church. We stayed here two nights and did some fossicking around, came up with 20 cents from around the church. One morning it was zero degrees and frost on the windscreen, we were glad of our gas heater that morning.

Last night we camped out side Lake Grace at the lake and today we have travelled to Porongurups Caravan Park, only 50ks from home but we wanted one more night on the road......
Over width truck coming into Paynes Find, would be about 8 metres wide, glad we were parked and not on the road
Didn't see many wildflowers as I thought, but two together here
Our camp at Minnivale 
Ruins of old bakery, Brian got a good photo of the inside of the oven
Ettamogah Pub, Corrigin 
Our camp at Kwolyin
Rupert came to play, Border Collie according to his owner
Jaffles for lunch
Good camp kitchen at Kwolyin 
Camped by Lake Grace
Canola fields as we approach Stirling Ranges
Bluff Knoll Cafe, still going, got hot chips here for lunch before heading into Porongorups 
I like to put the quotes from my calendar on the wall, plus photos of course
All my granny squares, 36 of them, just need to sew them all together...

Well we are home now, couldn't send blog last night, easy run into Albany and parked van in the driveway before a shower of rain..... Lots of unpacking to do, Bentley very excited to be home, ran around and around the back garden 

Friday, 28 August 2015


After Cue we drove south to Mt Magnet and then 155ks East to Sandstone, we had an overnighter on the road and that night it rained and when we arrived in Sandstone it was cold and drizzly rain, we both got out our jeans and jumpers, have been in shorts for such a long time I had forgotten where my jeans were! 
The weather in Sandstone improved and it turned out to be a lovely little town. Small with the hotel open and selling basic grocery items as well as beer, Post Office open 3 mornings a week and visitors info open April to October, about a dozen houses and a Shire Office and of course the caravan park. Everything is well looked after and tidy, Caravan Park is run by the shire, really nice and not pricey....

We decided to stay the week and spent each day prospecting, no gold but we enjoyed ourselves, had a very helpful neighbour Marty give us some good tips on prospecting. Most of the people here in the park are prospectors and take it seriously, having at least two metal detectors and also quad bikes to go further in the bush, Marty took Brian out on his quad and showed him areas to go etc but they were not areas Brian wanted to take the Triton....
Another great thing about the town was William a young Chinese man and his fresh veg stall open weekends and Tuesday and Thursday and he made bread too, I bought a loaf every morning he was there and he cooks at the caravan park Monday and Thursday nights, $12 for a take away Chinese amazing, of course we were in on that. There is also a Pie lady called Lady Di who bakes pies while you wait in a pie maker, not tried the pies preferred the fresh veg and bread, but amazing to have all that in such a small town.

London Bridge one of the attractions
Some of the areas we were prospecting in

A map we bought showing the old gold mines, the black crosses are a pick and shovel and mean a mine shaft can be working or abandoned and the grey pink dots mean abandoned shafts, lots of tracks and areas to fossick around, we went as far down as Hancocks which was about 10 to 15 ks away

Today we found a creek bed to wander up and down

Some photos of the town
The lovely bread William baked $6
He had lamingtons one day, $3 each
Chinese takeaway I had the chicken on the left and Brian had sweet and sour pork, both with fried rice 

Tomorrow we will moving on, slowly heading south and home......