Our new neighbour says that our little swooping birds are Noisy Miners, vs. Indian or Bell Mynahs. According to our bird book the noisy miners are endemic and are far worse at displacing other birds with their aggressive, communal behaviour, than the Indian Mynahs which are far better known.
Sun 27 Oct
Museum Markets. The advertising was deceptive for the farmers markets yesterday and we missed it. Back to Twilight Cove in the afternoon for a swim, snorkel, and body board. Besides being spectacular, it is the most protected during onshore wind. The same 2 tiny kids learning to surf and loving it.
Mon 28 Oct to Lucky Bay. Not supposed to arrive until after 11.a.m. We got there at 10.15 and were glad we did, to get a good spot.
Spectacular water, sand and granite, but 34° and heaps of flies. We went for a swim and snorkel and then the southerly came through, which brought down the temp in a hurry. We enjoyed the lovely solar heated showers, then drove around to Hellfire Bay and Frenchman Rock.
Shared a bbq with our young neighbours from Esperance. They're Swiss, not German, and one couple will be in Chch around Jan.
Tues 29 Oct
We went down to the beach before breakfast to see whether we could get the classic Lucky Beach photo of kangaroos lying on the beach. They're all around the camp, but not on the sand. Yesterday's closest was in the shade under a bush on the edge of the beach.
Wed 30 Oct Lucky Bay to Norseman
We had to come so close to Esperance, so went in for cheaper diesel. We were going to stop at a community run park at Salmon Gum, but the pub had closed down, the flies were bad, and there didn't seem much to do, so we kept going to Norseman.
We just pulled into Norseman, 36° and still too many flies. The fire-danger boards around here have the top level of Catastrophic! and this is the 1st time we've seen one at that. That level means that farmers aren't allowed to take machinery into their paddocks. As so many things are really time-critical on farms, that could be a real disaster.
The forecast is for 73% chance of rain at 3a.m, so we hope that the Duffy Effect works for them.
"One crisp night in 1894 prospector Laurie Sinclair tethered his horse to a tree outside his brother's tent. Legend has it that in the morning he found his horse lame, and on inspecting it found a sizeable chunk of gold-bearing quartz stuck in it's hoof.
That horse's name was Hardy Norseman, so he called the resulting mine Norseman. It ran until 2014. There's a fair mountain of tailings from that and other mines. Some talk of re-opening.
It wasn't until 1936 that Norseman was connected to C.Y.O'Connor's amazing pipeline from Perth, so water was always one of the biggest issues. There were small businesses that ran salt water through condensors and charged plenty for the result.
This is the last stop before the Nullarbor (for people doing that - not us) People coming the other way had to dump their fruit and veg at the border, and are disappointed that the IGA here doesn't carry much. The folk we were talking to hadn't been able to get water or LPG for a week for the van, but had daily showers at roadhouses. One place they were at was so dry they had bees in large numbers in their sullage hose and their dog's bowl. They were looking at filling up at the Visitor's Centre at Norseman, but they had a cracked pipe and were waiting for a plumber to come from Esperance.
They implied that hey had played the Nullabor Golf Links - supposedly the longest course in the world - 18 holes, par 72. It spans 1,365km with one hole in each participating town or roadhouse on the Eyre Highway. Classic.
We're staying at the Caravan Park, so have access to water. The contractors beside us have filled up a heap of containers. They're just in swags beside their vehicles, a mining company ute towing a couple of quad-bikes.
On a previous note I may have relayed someone's opinion that Perth's water is progressively reducing and Kalgoorlie is on the edge of a huge artesian basin, so the pipeline should now be going the other way. A great concept - and at least this time it would be downhill.
Thurs 31 Oct Norseman to Kalgoorlie
Yes, there was some rain overnight, so that should have been welcome relief to the fire danger and the bees.
Our contractors got away around 5.30a.m.
I celebrated rain (or dew) in my usual fashion - 1st job before breakfast was to attack the vehicles with a few old chux cloths while the bugs and dust are soft.
At Esperance a neighbour was picking locusts out of his radiator. His wife said they made a noise like pistol shots when they hit. We do see the occasional vehicle with gauze over the grille.