This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2000 Travels May 26

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FRIDAY 26 MAY     OPALTON

The day started out with a dull morning, but cleared, partly, later. The night rain was over.

I was very surprised at how dry the things under the spinifex roofed shelter had stayed, during the heavy rain of the night. It is very effective. It made a real difference, having a larger than usual expanse of dry ground for our outside living area, out there.

05-25-2000 at opalton.jpg

The spinifex-roofed shelter was surprisingly waterproof

We spent some time fine tuning the camp – sieving ash from the campfire (the gem fossicking sieves were handy), setting up water in the big wash up bowl to settle the sediment, arranging the “furniture”.

We walked out into the nearby mullock heaps – a very short walk away – and noodled for a while. This consisted of scrabbling solidified dirt away from a selected area of heap and watching closely to see if any “colour” was unearthed in this way.

I found a fair sized piece of bright green opal, in a little “pipe” formation. I was actually walking around a low heap at the time and the angle of the sun was causing a green light to shine through it onto the ground, and it was that which caught my eye. I was just in the right place at the crucial minute or so – it was right on the surface of a heap. I wondered how many times it had been overlooked before. Beginner’s luck! I hope it will eventually cut into something really nice because the colour appears superb.

After lunch, we went back out again. Found some “fairy dust” pieces – little colour speckles in rock.

05-28-2000 mullock heaps near camp.jpg

Mullock heaps by our camp

When we’d had enough of scrabbling around in the dirt, drove a little way to the south, about 4kms, across Sandy Creek, which had a couple of fair sized waterholes in it, still.

I find it interesting how the general aridity of this sort of country enhances the attractiveness of any water feature that occurs. A little creek or water hole becomes somehow “special”, and noteworthy in a way that it would not be in an area where surface water is more abundant.

Fetched wood for our fire. There was plenty of that, lying about.

05-28-2000 sandy ck waterhole.jpg

Sandy Creek waterhole

Back at camp, I paid M for two of her gem trees – the one I had selected for us and another, mounted on a gidgee base, for P and K for Xmas. That will be a challenge to pack when we send off our presents!

L from the Outpost came round to see how we’d settled in. He said the young couple with the baby apparently left about 1am this morning, when the rain was heavy. It would have sounded even worse on the tin roof of their shelter and I guess they got worried about being able to make it out in their conventional car.

Tea was savoury mince and potato.

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