Sunday, March 07, 2004

Comet mine part two

Well we did a slow drive into Town, Terrie said that they didnt do a counter lunch in the pub, so we carried on to the Travelers rest, a garage and accommodation place on the way out of town, big sign saying licensed restaurant, so I thought we would get a decent feed here, maybe a lobster salad or a rack of lamb or something else delightful, but I was wrong, they were shampooing the carpets, but we did manage to get a cup of tea and a toasted sandwich which filled the spot anyway. It is early March and no self respecting tourist would be lurking about the Pilbara at this time of year, what with the rain and the heat, and the fact that the road from the south was still closed, so it makes sense for the people there to do a bit of maintenance.

We ate our meagre lunch, and headed back through town towards the mine, only thing we saw remotely exciting was two young black kids riding on a bike come to grief, nothing serious, they got up laughing with just a little bit of bark missing, both jumped back on the bike and rode of grinning. We were soon back at the Comet mine, we wandered through several sheds, had a good look at the shed where they cut and polish the stone that is sold in the museum, had a bit of a look around the gold plant, got giddy looking up the huge smoke stack there, that at one time used to be the biggest smoke stack in the southern hemisphere, and could well still be. We then drove a short distance and looked at the graveyard of old vehicles and mining equipment. I was in my glory here, noticed a couple of old Thames Traders, a Dodge truck and one that looked like a Fargo, there were also a couple of old Commer knockers, cars of most brands and a few Land Rovers, and of course bits and pieces of all sorts of vehicle, several cranes and earth moving equipment, bits of mining and processing equipment, a few buses and all sorts of wonderful stuff. We drove a little further and came across a line of small trucks in varying states of repair, some complete and others just bits and pieces. We then drove a few kilometres to another old mining show, with an old house, sadly in a precarious state of repair, with a few sheds and shafts in the ground and one larger adit cut into the side of a hill, and an old poppet head visible on the top of a hill, lots of old bottles and mining equipment were strewn about and of course the usual car wrecks. By this time we had seen enough historical bits and pieces to last a day, so retired to Terries kitchen for a well earned cup of tea and some biscuits before I set off on the journey home. I stopped in town on the way through to buy some cigarettes and an iced coffee to drink on the way back home, I stopped in a little general store and bought cigarettes and a Mars bar, but he said they didn’t stock milk drinks, I would have to go to the roadhouse opposite the pub, so I did a U turn in the main street, which was wide enough to turn a stage coach with eight horses in, but had been fitted with a median strip since the stage coaches stopped running, and headed to the garage, this was also a mini mart, post office, agent for everything you could think of, and by the look of the customers in there, a meeting place of sorts, this was the most people I had seen in Marble Bar, and were all women of varying degrees of colour from almost white to almost black, and all pretty healthy looking and attractive, and all well dressed, and very friendly, I bought a couple of iced coffees and some choc milk, they were frozen so I took a few extras to drink over the following days back at camp. I then jumped in the cruiser, and headed up the main road towards home, I passed a couple of Aboriginal families, splashing in the Coongan river, slowed down and we waved at each other, stopped a bit further up the road where a car full of native women were stopped, but they had only stopped for a pee and didnt need any help, so I carried on home with no incident, just as I was coming through the hills near camp, I drove through a little shower and was then home, having had a most delightful day out.

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