Coolgardie to Kalgoorlie

11 August—12 August 2002

It was cold overnight at Scenic View bush camp and the tent collected a load of condensation, so we had to give it time to dry out in the morning. Just as we had almost finished packing up, a bloke showed up in a short wheel-based Land Rover and told us about some well-appointed cabins to the West.  This was of course useless advice because we were heading in the opposite direction.  He seemed friendly but Susie was convinced he was a serial killer, so the conversation didn’t go on for long.

As soon as the tent had dried out we folded it away and went to have a look at the scenic view after which the rest stop was named.  It was afforded by a large flat rock south of the main camping area.  The view was indeed scenic, but we didn’t loiter there because Clare was unwell.  I had to give her a piggy-back to and from the rock, as she was too weak to walk.

We rejoined the highway and drove on to Coolgardie, stopping on the outskirts of town to admire a house that was completely adorned with all sorts of collected junk.  Clare was so listless she didn’t even get out to look.  We decided to push on to Kalgoorlie in search of lunch and accommodation.

We chose the first accommodation we came to, the Gold Miner Caravan Park on the Western outskirts of town.  We took a cabin, hoping to avoid the cold.  We shifted our gear into a tacky but adequate demountable.  Susie and I asked for a bedside light and a doona. We were given a lamp that was supposed to be screwed to a bench, and a bedspread that was a poor substitute for a doona.  Clare went to sleep straight away, and Susie and Ruby went out to find some lunch together.  I stayed with Clare to keep an eye on her.

That evening Clare’s temperature rose to over 39°C so Susie took her off to the local hospital.  They had to wait for ages to see a doctor.  While they were out I cooked a green chicken curry with dhal and rice.  That night it was extremely cold and Susie and I suffered for want of proper bedclothes.  Nevertheless we decided to stay another night to give Clare a chance to recover.

In the morning we went out to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and had an informative tour of the latest aeroplane they had purchased.  We then watched a video and pored over the exhibits there.

Ruby, Clare and Ashlee checking out the latest wings
Ruby, Clare and Ashlee checking out the latest wings

After that we headed off to Boulder and snooped around an op shop, after which we had pies for lunch from the local bakery.  Clare was looking a little worse for wear by this time so we took her back to the cabin where Ruby looked after her while Susie and I went back into town to do some grocery shopping.

After stocking up on the usual supplies, we paid a short visit to the museum which had enough social history to keep us interested.

Headframe for a gold mine, Kalgoorlie, W.A.

We returned home after this and had leftover curry from the night before.  Susie and I made sure we were adequately clothed for the chilly night that lay ahead.  The forecast was 1°C.  We tried to keep the reverse-cycle air conditioning going for as long as possible, but it was too noisy to sleep with it on.  The extra clothing paid off, however, and we all survived the night.

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