Day 84: Kalgoorlie Saturday 24th July 2011

Kalgoorlie farrier Steve Routledge shoeing 'Surprise' with Esther.

Kalgoorlie is a surprising area.  Great people, fascinating environment and to Joe’s joy wild goats all over the place! We pulled in here Friday afternoon to go through quarintine again.  We had to get the horses drenched again for liver fluke (previously drenched at Port Augusta), and have the truck washed down.  We were able to camp here with the horses for the weekend which has been great and a luxury with BBQ area, hot showers etc and only 15 minutes into Kalgoorlie. Today saw us take in the final Harry Potter movie, felt surreal to be sitting in a cinema after so long in the bush!

The trip across from Norseman was wet and muddy!  A word about Norseman, another gold mining town (1 pub, 1 store, 1 cafe!)  the first since Ceduna 5 weeks ago! It was named after a horse that was called Norseman, when a local farmer a century ago pulled up there and his horse pawed the ground and uncovered a massive gold nugget and the town was born!

'Titan' & Esther meet 'Norseman' WA.

Makes it hard in this country pulling off the road to change horses, have to be very careful to avoid bogging the truck, but I managed.  Has been delightful weather, low 20’s during the day down to just our shirts. There are a gazillion mines in this area, mullock heaps abounding.  Just up the road from here is a massive nickel smelter.  Half the vehicles on the highway are mine utes (all covered in red mud, they’ve had nearly two inches of rain this last week).

Perth in our sights again!

We’re going through Coolgardie tomorrow and taking the next three days to get to Southern Cross (my paternal grandmothers childhood home) they had a wheat farm there a century ago.

It feels surreal being back in ‘civilisation’ after so long in the bush.  The thing that blows me away is after so long of counting every drop of prescious water having hoses at truckstops, there’s a hose and water trough in every yard here at quarantine…..keeping up with water was a big challenge since we left Ceduna 31 days ago.  Thats nearly 5 weeks of watching every drop.  The Nullarbour roadhouses predominantly relied on their own desalination plants or rainwater.  showers were mostly costed out at $1 for 3-5 minutes and were coin operated.  I don’t think that would’ve covered the cost really of the deisel to run generators and their desalination plants!  And we so appreciate the generosity of the Managers who gave us water. Most people drive across the Nullarbor in two days from Ceduna to Norseman, we took 5 weeks! The ladies at Eucla Roadhouse generously donated us a box of fruit and veges to keep us going to Norseman! Human food wise we’d planned two red meat meals a week, a couple of tuna meals, beans and eggs!  We had a well stocked tucker box, plenty of long life milk, flat bread etc. Coped really well. We had Viv Kyle from Kempsey and her family do a drop off of beer and chocolates on their way back from Perth!  Awesome!!

Crossing the Nullarbor these last 5 weeks has been totally awesome.  I’ve seen some of the most awe-striking country in my life and the grandeur and majesty of it has taken my breath away.  I feel like 5 weeks was to fast to take it all in it is such a vast landscape, and that’s just following the Eyre Highway!

One of my greatest discoveries on this trek has been the stories of Daisy Bates, a notable Australian pioneering woman who in the 20s lived on the Nullarbor with Aboriginal communities for 16 years  to understand more about traditional life and the impact of European settlement on Aboriginal culture.  Certainly on my agenda to read up on the history of her life.

We three are making each day count enjoying every minute of these final two weeks of this trek and of course excited also for Esther that she’ll be making history riding 4600kms from Coast2Coast as a young 20 yo woman, and landing at Cottlesloe Beach on her own milestone, her 21st Birthday, that’s a totally awesome way to make it both memorable and remarkable! And most importantly for Esther, Joe and I is that the backdrop to everything we do is remembering Hannah, bringing her hopes to life to ‘put melanoma on the map’, and we’re doing that one hoof/step at a time…with Hannah on our minds and in our hearts every step of the way…

2 Responses to “Day 84: Kalgoorlie Saturday 24th July 2011”

  1. fiona murray Says:

    Hi there trekers, have been following you all intently waiting for new blogs daily. What your doing Esther is amazing to say the least and so inspiring. To have such a wonderful support crew, great horses that want to do the hard yards as well and meeting so many fascinating people makes your plight so important to get the message across all worth while. The last day will probably be the hardest but enjoy it and be very proud of your self and your crew and your steeds to what you have all achieved. Your a legend Esther.We are so very proud of you all. All our love from Tuncurry (very soggy east coast) Fiona Dennis and Lexi xxxxx

  2. Janine Says:

    Hi darling ones, your words, as they often do Maus, bought a tear to my eyes.
    I loved what you said about the Nullabor and yes to walk or ride out their really slowly would be mind blowing.
    And Esther what you take on and can accomplish will also always be mind blowing. Much love to you all.

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