Where are we?
We are in Kalgoorlie.
Solving the stove problem
To cut a long story short, after numerous phone calls to Apollo (from whom we rented the van) they accepted our solution to the problem which was to buy a new stove when the shops opened again tomorrow (Monday). This would connect to our Gas Cylinders so we would then be able to cook. When we are in Broome on our way to the Gibb River Road, we will call into their depot there and they would either remove the old stove and replace it with the new one or would repair the old stove.
As is usually the case, if you have a problem and can offer a reasonable solution to it, then the supplier grasps the solution as their own (because you then cease to be an issue) and everyone is happy.
Having agreed to this solution, we had the rest of the day to explore the area. Kalgoorlie-Boulder is the modern conjunction of the old towns of Kalgoorlie and Bolder. Both were, and still are, Gold Towns although the scale of mining has changed considerably.
Gold Mining at the Super Pit
The Super Pit (or the Big Pit) is the tourist attraction here
because it is a very large hole and gold ore is still being extracted from it. It is also almost the only source of employment in the area and when it closes, the town is likely to close as well.
There is a viewing platform to one side where you can stand and use whatever metric you prefer to get a feel for its size.
It is approximately 3.5 kms long, 1.5 kms wide and 600 metres deep. The 15 millions tonnes of rock excavated each year produce around 28 tonnes of gold which I calculate (based on the price of $1,200 US an ounce or $40,000 US per kilo when we were there) is worth around 1.12$ Billion US per annum.
In the 120+ years they have been mining for gold in the region, more than 58 million ounces of gold has been produced (around 1800 tonnes).
For a large hole you need large machinery
and there is plenty of that around. Quite often we meet one of these monsters being transported as an oversize load on the roads, a meeting which requires us to move over and get completely out of the way.
Burt Street in Boulder is known for its historic preserved buildings
and it takes very little imagination to take yourself back to Victorian times.
The Town Hall is the most famous building in the street
and there are a number of well preserved hotels,
now serving as pubs, which during the Gold Rush would have been packed with miners and visitors.
This old corner store is well preserved but now looking for a use,
and the modern day post office is in a much smaller building across the road. We thought that Boulder had a remarkably well preserved historic quarter but many of the preserved buildings were now looking for a modern day use.
The Australian Barbecue is something at which we had no skills until now. A lesson from someone staying in the camp soon solved that problem
and the Chef soon prepared and evening meal of Sausages, Bacon, Mushrooms and Tomatoes. As we were cooking our dinner, other campers came and put their food on the barbecue to cook at the same time as ours.
A good end to a reasonable day with a solution agreed to our cooking problem (provided the store has a stove in stock).