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Cue across to Sandstone, Leinster and on to Leonora

Our craving for hot chips met in Cue, we hit the road again and decided to deviate from the Great Northern Highway and once again took to the dirt.

Bypassing Mount Magnet, we headed across to Wondinong...rejoining the bitumen at a place called Sandstone.

Leaving Sandstone, and after travelling several kilometres along a signposted heritage trail loop (unsealed), we found a place to camp for the night...behind an old gold stamping battery...complete with ancillary buildings.

It was almost evening, overcast and the wind was blowing with enough strength to rattle several loose sheets of corrugated iron on the old buildings...it was eiry...a bit like the movie set vision of a deserted old western town...minus the tumbleweed.

After several hours of broken sleep, at around 12:30 am, we were awoken by splatters of rain on the caravan roof and decided to pack up and make a hasty retreat from our camping spot to avoid the prospect of being bogged.

We spent the rest of the night in a parking bay on the road to Leinster...listening to the rain, which had by now set in.

The next day we set our for Leinster, enroute to Leonora.

Rod hadn't been through Leinster since 1985, when he had visited his brother who was then working at the Agnew nickel mine, and was surprised to find that a huge open cut gold mine had now been developed adjacent to Agnew's operations.

Somehow we missed the turn off to Leinster township...probably because we were being talegated by a road train hauling nickel concentrate to Leonora.

Steady rain fell as we pressed on to Leonora and our spirits were dampered by the thought of not being able to get off the bitumen to camp and detect for gold...and the thought of being holed up in a caravan park was also a prospect we didn't want to contemplate.

Very early into our travels we had fallen out of love with caravan parks...which we found to be like a micro surburb...and were thoroughly enjoying the freedom and serenity bush camps offered.

So...we were determined to find one...rain or no rain !

Braving the slippery wet conditions of an unsealed road we headed out of Leonora.

A little over 11km out the Prado started to skate around on the surface a bit and plastered the front of the caravan with mud.

About the same time we spotted some old diggings up on rise and saw a track that led up to them. Dropping into low range we wound our way up the hill, past the diggings, to a flat section on the ridge where we were surprised to find a concrete pad and driveway...and a blue painted shower cubicle!

It looked like the diggings had been worked up until recently and the prospector must have had a caravan parked in this position...how convenient...it was flat, dry and had commanding views in all directions. Best of all, we found that we could get TV reception...what luxury!

...too bad we only discovered we could get TV the night after The Bill was on...so sadly we remain clueless as to recent events on our favourite soapie.

campsite at Leonora

 

Our campsite at Leonora ...complete with its own concrete driveway...and a painted brick shower cubicle !


Detecting for two days in cold overcast weather...finding loads of nails, bolts, bullets, tin and wire...but not one lonely speck of gold...we decided to pull up stumps and were on the verge of setting out for Laverton when the weather set in again.

A quick change of plans saw us defer our goldfields fossicking for a couple of weeks and we made tracks for Perth instead, where we planned to visit Rod's daughter and to catch up with an old friend of mine whom I had not seen for nearly 20 years.

 

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