Monday, 19 July 2010

Sunrise on the Bluff

We had watched the sun set several times over the Bluff, so it seemed fitting to witness the sun rise on our last morning. Actually Nick and I saw the sun rise, while Vaughan stayed in the car - and the girls stayed asleep!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Blown away

Team work - blowing a rock over!
We had a lot of fun on our last day - and packing up was very much the last thing on our minds!  Of course, reality did hit after lunch and we worked hard.  It was a long haul as no-one was at all keen to leave.

Vaughan was devastated when he realised we were heading home - and a neighbouring camper gave him two jars of opal as a distraction, which worked (for a while)!

Chaos reigned long into the night!
Some lovely neighbours borrowed our camp oven and shared their cooked damper with us, while we packed the trailer and transported various other gear to a cabin for an overnight stay.

Our simple cabin
The wall attacked Nissa!

Opal Festival

It is a sign of our attention to the various market stalls and displays that there are very few pics of the actual Opal Festival.  (I should add that Vaughan did not share our interest and started asking why everyone was so impressed with opal.  The question was posed to all, including the stall-holders and opal fanciers)!

I had been told prior to the Festival that I had an eye for good opal; which generally translates to liking the more expensive pieces or (as often was the case) those that weren't for sale!  Neil was very happy to sell us this piece though - one that he had mined at Koroit.

Linda then set it for us as a rushed job, given we were departing the next morning.  (After that, Nick put it away till August as my "double 21st" birthday present)!

Saturday, 17 July 2010


Other side of the road
Almost got him!

Early morning - steam rising

Camera shy

Many little fish swam in the bore drain and this guy would stand in the water, fishing.

More correctly, he would stand in the water fishing when he thought no-one was looking (or trying to take his photo)!

As soon as I sneaked along with my camera (even with zoom lens); he would stride off like some hunched, cranky old man!

Consequently I have some very good shots but none with his feet wet!

Geckoes galore

Vaughan was quick enough to catch many geckoes and adapted his technique, so that only one lost its tail. 

They will be faster in the summer though, so we are interested to see how he does when they are fully charged!

Chippin' away

Note all the gravel underfoot!
Buckets of rocks were readily available and we paid $20 for our next one; hoping to double the quality of it contents.

Nick and the girls are chipping away here (while Vaughan whinged loudly in the background).

Nick did find quite a good bit and was showing it off to me at one end of the carpark - but then dropped it before reaching the other end. Of course, it camouflaged very well with all the other rocks on the ground and was never seen again (well, not by us).

Friday, 16 July 2010

Sunset picnic

We had timed our Yowah stay so our final days would co-incide with the Opal Festival.

The town was much busier in the lead-up to the Festival though and we felt the need for some quiet time.

Rather than attend the opening dinner, we packed some very nice nibblies (and a sausage sizzle), then headed up to the Bluff to watch the sunset.

I think we made the right choice!

It was cold once the sun went down and the fire was very much appreciated - although most were too full for the sausages!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Fire sculpture!

Nick had found a very good fire sculpture log soon after arrival but had been saving it for later in our stay. We are very pleased to report a drama-free firing and all enjoyed sitting around watching - our neighbours joined us for part of the night also and we shared another of Nissa's thermal-cooked cakes.

More digging

The original "mine" was flooded during heavy overnight rain, so further excavation was abandoned.  (Nick is indicating the water level when he first inspected the damage, a few hours prior to this photo being taken).

We hired some fossicking equipment from the YRTC and set off to try our luck elsewhere in the fossicking area.

While we were all busy with either digging or documenting tasks; Nissa turned around and sprung Vaughan scoffing (thermal-cooked) chocolate cake!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The diggers!

In the pic above Nick is honing (hah!) his chainsaw sharpening knowledge. The wood at Yowah was so hard that he had paid for the chainsaw blade to be sharpened several times before the fellow suggested it would make more sense/cents to buy the sharpening kit.

The "mine" was getting deeper, thanks to Nick and Erin's continued efforts.

As you can see, Vaughan did assist but was generally (and easily) side-tracked by grasshoppers etc!
The rusty metal structure served no purpose other than to cover the "mine" when work had finished for the day.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Eulo General Store

I had been keen to round-off our spoiling with lunch at the Eulo Queen pub but Nick had learned that the cook was in Cunnamulla for the day (and wasn't answering the publican's calls to her mobile).  So much for my brilliant plan!  We made do with a shared sausage roll from the general store - and refueled before heading back to Yowah.

Eulo mud baths

The girls and I thoroughly enjoyed our open-air mud bathing at Eulo. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip! Very fine mud was added to the water for our initial soak; then we each applied a grittier mud pack and dried off in front of the sweetest pot-belly stove - finally rinsing under the rustic shower.

While the bathers were blissfully luxuriating, Nick and Vaughan were off exploring the small township of Eulo - such as it was. (Vaughan actually started a grasshopper hospital in a small park and tended several patients)!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Stacks of rocks

We spent most afternoons on the Bluff, collecting firewood and wandering about.  There were many rock stacks up there (and the pic at left is of a favourite, caught in the gorgeous golden light of the late afternoon).

Someone suggested the stacks marked points with the best mobile reception but as our phones didn't work at Yowah, it was tricky to test that theory!

Nick and Vaughan worked on building their own - and Vaughan has built quite a few more since returning home!

Val's roos

As I was staring at the former cabin block, a lady walked up to me wheeling a barrow-load of firewood.  In the distance, it seemed a kangaroo was following her.  We started chatting and I learned her name was Val - and the kangaroo was one of "hers" that she fed each night!

We met this group on a different evening, en route to the park where Val puts out food for them.

Memory Lane

I remember this shop being painted bright, bright yellow!

The mail truck used to arrive once a week out the front and the kids would queue to ride on the back as it drove around the town.

In those days, the shop-keeper left books and magazines on a small table (under the rear verandah) for kids to borrow.  (This memory prompted our donation of books to the modern library).

Across the road from the Museum
I realised when looking at this building that long ago it had been divided into several cabins; where my family had stayed when I was a child, before we bought our house.

(Nowadays it was the home of two miners).

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Community BBQ


While Nick was doing battle with the fastest BBQs in the west, Vaughan was busy stalking locusts (and recruiting a small band of older kids to assist).

The locals were a bit bemused by the activity but quite happy to marvel at the catch. Vaughan is showing Mick his collection in the pic above. (Mick was one of our campsite neighbours).

The catch early in the evening.

Kaleidoscope Kapers

It was hard work digging (and watching the digging!), so we packed up and headed over to see Ron at Kaleidoscope to fossick the easy/ier way.

We carefully selected a large bucket of rocks and paid our $10 ...

Ron gave some hints as to technique and what we were looking for - then wandered off for lunch and left us to it!

Basically, first hose the mud from the rocks, then chip away at any nuts looking for colour!

Nice nut - shame it was empty!