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MAC Village Central

Okay, so I knew that at some point in time we would actually have to leave Kambalda MAC Caravan Park to continue our travels and maybe even manage to leave WA but it didn’t make leaving any easier.

It truly felt as though I was leaving Wickham again (this is where the kids were born and spent their early years). I can only say that it is a testament to the good people who work and live at the MAC and the strong sense of community that they have created there.

This post is a thank you to you all ……even the people I don’t remember to mention 🙂

To Johnny L, the unofficial Lord Mayor and his offsider Pat, I so miss your cheery wave in the morning as I made my pj clad walk up to the ablution block and the invitation to come have a cuppa. I miss sitting and talking and feeding the birds with you – so does Sista. I appreciate the way you treated my kids, especially when Big thought you were Pat – just without a beard, and they loved you for it. For coming to the mess with us for Big’s 14th birthday and for getting up early to have breakfast with us on our last day. I look forward to catching up on the road again somewhere.

We had to interrupt Big's cleaning to get this shot - note my carpeted annexe pad - living very flash!

We had to interrupt Big’s cleaning to get this shot – note my carpeted annexe pad – living very flash!

To the big bus brigade, Ted & Dave, who were always ready and willing to lend a hand or a tool for any job on the go as well as the advice…”go slowly, 300km a day is plenty”

To Ray and Sandy from Tassie, for selling me on the Flavorstone cookware (I have got one now and I love it too!) and for reminding me that family are everything and that I should make sure that I post lots of photos for the family we have left behind.

To all the prospectors (Al, Al & Wendy, Thommo, Lindsay and Co) thank you for sharing your knowledge, your stories and your Minelab 5000 settings with us – a more diverse group of people I have yet to meet!

To the Chinese Geos, for showing us that 5 grown men can all live in a Jayco Expanda quite happily and that language does not have to be a barrier to friendship. Thank you Michael for making us steamed bread, playing bucket ball with the boys, teaching us words in Mandarin, answering questions about your life in China and for letting us teach you how to play Uno – we miss you.

Photo is terrible but best one I have of us with Michael

Photo is terrible but best one I have of us with Michael

To Trudi in the office and all the MAC staff, you guys rock. To the people in the Mess – thank you for not shutting the doors when you saw us coming up for tea……I know that watching Little hit the desert bar and Big go up for 4th servings must have made you question that decision, so thanks.

Last but not least thank you to Woolies Kambalda for saving me so much money on food…..it’s just not the same going shopping anymore 😦

I also need to mention my best Mother’s Day surprise ever! Sista had picked up a colouring in competition from the Kalgoorlie library that had a single line asking “Why you loved your mum”….not only did she fill in that line but attached another 3 pages!! God only knows what she put on it (I didn’t even realise she had done it until she was dropping it off), but she did say that she put good and not so good things on the list….getting more worried now 🙂 Anyhoo, she got a phone call telling her that she had won first prize…..best daughter ever xx

So wish I could had read that list.....librarian wouldn't even let me do it unless Sista said yes.

So wish I could had read that list…..librarian wouldn’t even let me do it unless Sista said yes.

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Enraptured by the price of our previous visit, I chose to spend the following fortnight back at the Kambalda Caravan Park with a view to making once a week visits to Kalgoorlie to provide lashings of history for the kids and I – efforts were made to find tourist attractions in the Kambalda township but even a visit to the Shire Office in town provided only a single option “Have you been to the Red Hill Lookout?” Me “Yes” (Enter the sound of silence).

They do have a cool recreation centre and playground, skatepark and a Woolies that has enabled me to save a fortune! I have never seen so many Reduced For a Quick Sale stickers in my life.

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One of our first visits to Kalgoorlie was actually prompted by my friend mentioning the Boulder Market Day, on her blog http://www.followingourhearts.com , and her talking about the free Superpit Tour which you need to line up early for (first in, first served). Some days I manage to surprise myself – we got in to Boulder and snagged ourselves seats on the first tour of the day!!

The tour runs for an hour and they take you along the pit roads, through the haul truck workshop and into a viewing room on the side of the pit that lets you see the trucks being loaded and gives you some idea of the size of this big hole.

ImageAn interesting fact that came up was that for every 6 trucks that get loaded with rocks they manage to extract about a golf ball size amount of gold…..not much, especially given that this is considered by some to be the richest square mile on the face of the Earth.

On Market Day you can also see demos of dry blowing and gold panning and we found these to be really interesting and an informative reality check – it must have been a lot of work for little reward for most of the people who came to the goldfields.

We also visited Kal during History Week and managed to get onto a Town Hall Tour given by a historian employed by the Shire – he was very entertaining but unable to answer a question that has intrigued me for a good decade now “Why do so many magicians, illusionists and hypnotists visit Kalgoorlie?” Not that I want to cast any aspersions on the good people of the Eastern Goldfields but…..?Image

I am assuming that the kids were inspired by the historic tour and just wanted to check the quality of the carpet and pressed tin ceiling….at least I hope so anyway.

When you come to Kal make sure you visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service out at the airport – they run regular daily tours that are well worth the very modest entry charge and a walk around the small display area may well bring a tear to your eye (the patchwork wall hanging) or a laugh outloud (medical chest display). Having lived in the bush before we have used the Flying Doctor and are so grateful for the work they do – here’s hoping that we have no need of them during our Big Trip but always nice to know that they’re around if we do. 

We still need to make a couple more visits to Kal to check out the cool museums (kids groan) so I will leave it there for now.