Trip down Balladonia way in WA

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 11:36
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Hi guys,

Just got back from a magic 8 day trip to the area south of Balladonia.

An old prospector took three of us to show various things on the way including rock holes, gnamma holes, breakaways, homestead ruins and other such things he found over the years.

What a character, he is 80 years old and is tough and wiry in build. You would think he was about 55; he still drives his 4Wd. No dottery speeds for him, at times he was doing 110 kph along the highway, and he is as sharp as a tack. He did some gold panning and just couldn’t pass any likely spot without having a go.

Around the camp fire he shared many stores. He told us about Pigweed Harry who when he was short of water would eat pig weed. And about the Charlie the Goose, who when he knew he was being followed back to his gold prospect, dismantled his cart at night at the start of a rocky patch carried it across and away from the rock, reassembled it again and continued leaving the followers scratching their heads in the morning. He also told us of numerous other characters that lived on the goldfields.

His meals consisted of a small can of fruit for breaky, a can of sardines for lunch and tea was a piece of steak. No vegies. One night I cooked a damper, all he ate was damper with a cuppa. Maybe this frugal diet has kept him fit and young at heart.

We came across one of his mates on the track, he is a dogger. The conversation and the places and the people they mentioned was just magic to listen to and enjoy.

Whilst I saw new places in the bush, I learnt much about being a bushie and how the old blokes thought.

He is a true blue Aussie, a character of the bush and may he live forever.

Cheers

Phil
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Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 12:22

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 12:22
Sounds like a fantastic trip Phil; great stuff.

Cheers.
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Reply By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 13:19

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 13:19
Now that your interest in the area has been aroused, if you haven't already done so, you may wish to acquire and read a copy of the book

>>> Challenge in Isolation by John R Bridges

We purchased ours direct from the author..

:)

Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 13:46

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 13:46
Hi Ed

I had that book with me on previous trips to the area - I agree its a great book with lots of local info.

cheers

Phil
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Reply By: get outmore - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 14:07

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 14:07
one of my favourite tracks due to the things to see
-did you make it to the top of Mt ragged?
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 17:22

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 17:22
I did on a previous trip - just too hot this time around.

I agree its great country - I've got lots more exploring to do out to the east of the track.
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Reply By: get outmore - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 14:15

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 14:15
hmmm your profile pic looks familure-cant quite place it though

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 15:58

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 15:58
Well spotted. A really cute little homestead isn't it.

Its the Brooks residence at Balbinya - it was partially restored in 1991 and completed in 1993. The nearby barn was also restored.

When you were out there did you get to Booanya - another speecy spot that.

cheers
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 16:49

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 16:49
no -while ive stopped of at a few of the sites i usually have fishing on my mind.
need to get back over that way again hopefully this year so might have more of a look
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Reply By: ricochet - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 20:49

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 20:49
I have spent a bit of time talking to an old dogger from down that area, as you said the places and stories they mention are fantastic. Now just got to get down there and find some of the spots they talk about.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 23:10

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 23:10
The last trip was my third to the area in 13 months - each time I explore another patch and find more ruins, tracks etc. - Just so speccy and there’s lots more to find apparently.

So much early WA history down there – did you now these areas were settled before they found gold at Coolgardie and Kal!

Phil
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