Morning light

Love that morning light…….

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100 year old architecture turned into something else…….. at least this is more than the facade

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Forrest 2015/16 – part 2

Well I’m back after a few requests from my 3 viewers to complete the Forrest Saga.
I left off at Zanthus where we saw the remains of a settlement there that used to support the Railways. This maintenance is now mainly done from on the track or by contractors / employees of the railways journeying out to these places and staying in the odd well placed house /apartment setup. Zanthus has one of these way stations (which is the last photo of the previous post…..)

It’s still stinking hot at this stage and we’re boxing on hard to Rawlina. The track is hard going in that it needs you to use the brakes every 50-100 metres or so. It’s really unpleasant driving. Hard to check text messages and use the phone and organise a play list for entertainment. The things we had to put up with.

Rawlinna

We get to Rawlinna which is just another Zanthus with a few more buildings. It’s obvious a few organisations still use this place as a maintenance depot / staging point. The Primary School is still intact albeit a little sad and neglected.

Rawlinna School
Rawlinna School

We settle in for a few minutes to have a look around and to take in the views. There is still a station here and it seems to be attracting visitors. There are columns of seats and fire-pits set up along the tracks. Had I had to guess I was suspecting some sort of local shindig from the stations and other remote dwellings of unknown origin and quantity. As it turned out this is a spot where the Ubiquitous Indian Pacific likes to stop for a sun-downer type dinner on it’s way through. All the passengers get off and enjoy the nothingness and the relentless heat along with some food and ales. It’s certainly really hot still, eggs buy even in the shade as we take a break from the drive.

Rawlina Railway Station
Rawlina Railway Station

The lads also take a break . . . .

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This is the longest stretch of straight track on the planet we are led to believe. It certainly feels like it, ,mile after mile, after kilometre. It’s hot and tiring stuff and fortunately in a way we have smoker with us so we are stopping every hour or so. Apart from the early part of this track (smooth and graded), we’ve seen no one. There was a mysterious truck in Zanthus, and a very weird incident in Rawlinna where some dude plowed out from behind a house with a purpose yelling something. We were all drinking some cool beverages, smoking and loitering around the tracks. Believe me, we’d notice a train coming from a long way out. It sounds like an impending thunderstorm you know’s on the way.

“Oi mate, careful, there’ll be a train through here in three minutes……..”

We were keen to get a photo so waited 10. . . . . . .

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As we headed to our next camp site it became an ongoing gag. We didn’t see a train until well into the next day. Not sure what sort of drugs ol’ tat man was on, but they sure were not based in our domain ….

We looked and looked for the trains……

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Finally we hit Forrest. The first sign is the mast for the airfield, but we came across the station first. Only a first class lounge in this one.

Forrest Station
Forrest Station

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The Accommodation is awesome and the people charged with running the organisation were a treat. We enjoyed their company a lot.

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And finally we get to go home, after a great two day rest….. and a fang on the runway chasing roos and rabbits………

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Forrest 2015/16 – part 2

Well I’m back after a few requests from my 3 viewers to complete the Forrest Saga.
I left off at Zanthus where we saw the remains of a settlement there that used to support the Railways. This maintenance is now mainly done from on the track or by contractors / employees of the railways journeying out to these places and staying in the odd well placed house /apartment setup. Zanthus has one of these way stations (which is the last photo of the previous post…..)

It’s still stinking hot at this stage and we’re boxing on hard to Rawlina. The track is hard going in that it needs you to use the brakes every 50-100 metres or so. It’s really unpleasant driving. Hard to check text messages and use the phone and organise a play list for entertainment. The things we had to put up with.

Rawlinna

We get to Rawlinna which is just another Zanthus with a few more buildings. It’s obvious a few organisations still use this place as a maintenance depot / staging point. The Primary School is still intact albeit a little sad and neglected.

Rawlinna School
Rawlinna School

We settle in for a few minutes to have a look around and to take in the views. There is still a station here and it seems to be attracting visitors. There are columns of seats and fire-pits set up along the tracks. Had I had to guess I was suspecting some sort of local shindig from the stations and other remote dwellings of unknown origin and quantity. As it turned out this is a spot where the Ubiquitous Indian Pacific likes to stop for a sun-downer type dinner on it’s way through. All the passengers get off and enjoy the nothingness and the relentless heat along with some food and ales. It’s certainly really hot still, eggs buy even in the shade as we take a break from the drive.

Rawlina Railway Station
Rawlina Railway Station

The lads also take a break . . . .

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_DSC1963

_DSC1966

 

 

This is the longest stretch of straight track on the planet we are led to believe. It certainly feels like it, ,mile after mile, after kilometre. It’s hot and tiring stuff and fortunately in a way we have smoker with us so we are stopping every hour or so. Apart from the early part of this track (smooth and graded), we’ve seen no one. There was a mysterious truck in Zanthus, and a very weird incident in Rawlinna where some dude plowed out from behind a house with a purpose yelling something. We were all drinking some cool beverages, smoking and loitering around the tracks. Believe me, we’d notice a train coming from a long way out. It sounds like an impending thunderstorm you know’s on the way.

“Oi mate, careful, there’ll be a train through here in three minutes……..”

We were keen to get a photo so waited 10. . . . . . .

_DSC1977

As we headed to our next camp site it became an ongoing gag. We didn’t see a train until well into the next day. Not sure what sort of drugs ol’ tat man was on, but they sure were not based in our domain ….

We looked and looked for the trains……

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Finally we hit Forrest. The first sign is the mast for the airfield, but we came across the station first. Only a first class lounge in this one.

Forrest Station
Forrest Station

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_DSC2000

_DSC2001

_DSC2002

_DSC2003

_DSC2004

_DSC2007

_DSC2011

_DSC2009

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The Accommodation is awesome and the people charged with running the organisation were a treat. We enjoyed their company a lot.

_DSC2049

_DSC2050

_DSC2051

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And finally we get to go home, after a great two day rest….. and a fang on the runway chasing roos and rabbits………

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Forrest Trip – Xmas 2015 – 2016

Back in Australia for another attempt at getting to Forrest in Western Australia. As the crow flies it’s 120kms north of Eucla in Western Australia. To the even more uninitiated that means it’s ~1, 600kms from Perth and extremely remote.

This attempt was going to be done taking a more difficult route than previously undertaken. We are going to head to Kalgoorlie, then from there follow the train line along all the way to Forrest.

The Wedge Tailed Eagle at Forrest
The Wedge Tailed Eagle at Forrest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forrest, the place we ignominiously failed to get to at Easter.

Day one:
We’re taking two Land-cruisers with us and our custom built “Wandering Star” trailer that has the main load of gear in it. This means the car is not loaded to the gunwales and is more comfortable for the occupants and their bits and pieces they have lying around. We’re off around 8am and agree to a coffee stop in the hills to make sure we’re travelling together. A nice Dome cuppa cheers everyone and we hit the road. It’s a bit of an amusing start as we’d not told Cam that the car-park was unfriendly to trailers. This causes some angst and chaos and several laps around the block while they find a spot to park. This give Sulli and I some early morning mirth.

Before we go too much further, there’s John, Cam and Sulli (Brendan) and I on this trip. Two blokes in each car and enough crap for 10 people in the trailer. More on that later. Note also that two of the party are mad rabid foaming at the mouth smokers, so we will be having lots of pauses as they stop and git the gaspers. (The spell check wants to put Asperger’s in here… hmmmm)

Once we hit the hills out of Perth the worms start biting and quick sausage roll stop at Bakers Hill was had. We’re now on the road fair dinkum and the miles and kilometres glide by. There’s not a lot better transport around remote Australia than a Sahara from Toyota. Cold drinks in the cooler box make for a pleasant Journey.

We make a major pit stop at Southern Cross where Sulli votes for a beer.

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Carlton Draught

 

 

Carlton Draught

This delight was at the Palace Hotel. A Pleasant spot for a chat and a cold one. It was a good 38C outside, so this was welcome.

We head to Kalgoorlie, get some Salad from a local IGA and after a bit of a “where are we moment” we managed to find out way onto the trans access road.

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The Trans Access Road takes us on a long straight sojourn across Australia following the railway track. The trains are not frequent, but they are impressive. The tracks seem to go on, and on, and on…..

Endless Rails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It sure was balmy yesterday!!!!

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In the car it was showing a consistent 45 for much of the day …

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But I digress. The initial 50 odd kms was on a nice graded road. We saw a nice spot for a camp site and hunkered down around 6:30 before night set in. The three minute tents were up quick (but amusingly took 45 minutes folding back up the next morning – the geese!!!) . My tent was up in 2 minutes and down and folded in three the next morning. The words “I told you so” never passed my lips.

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Day Two
It’s light around 4:30 and by 6am it’s hitting 30C. This encourages us to get out of bed and get packed and outta there. We’re not as slick at packing up but we get it done boisterously and with some mirth. We’re hoping we can fit it all back in. Amazingly, we do.

The going is quite easy and quick as we set off to our camping destination which is unplanned as to specificity, but hoping to be a few hours out of Forrest somewhere. We drive along and look for the highlights to document (haha) and come across some sidings and a train derailment aftermath. It looked post apocalyptic.

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The cleanup of the disaster. I believe this took the track out for 5 days.
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John wanders around for a look see while Brendan’s legs can be seen poking out of a wagon. It is hot…..
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The running gear from all the wagons have been removed. This looks like an expensive mess.

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There looked to be a lot of soft drinks on this shipment. The “dead soldiers” were everywhere. A lot of “Pump” water was lying around, just wasted.
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At one point we came across a great big mud puddle. Surprising given the conditions. The cows congregated here with the bonus of the water on hand. Not sure that tastes so good…
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A slight disaster as the bike released itself from its shackles. A double tie down on top of the built in holding mechanisms was necessary due to the rough terrain.
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Cam comes flogging on by on a nice stretch.
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We confirm the GPS by reading this sign. Whew!
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Zanthus, a house, siding and this dude who popped up outa nowhere.

 

Stuck on Eucla Beach

The site is back up.

Here’s an ode to disaster.
The picture shown is just minutes before the disaster that unfolded when we went for our holiday not so long ago.