gemfyre: (doe a deer)
I've been mucking around with Google Earth and have put together a KMZ file to go with my road trip diary on LJ. It will take you to all the significant places I visited.

I recommend turning on other layers while you're going around - so you can see other people's photos of the areas and stuff like that as you look around.

The file should be downloadble from here - http://tinyurl.com/5uahseu

Let me know if you have any issues.
gemfyre: (doe a deer)
I've been mucking around with Google Earth and have put together a KMZ file to go with my road trip diary on LJ. It will take you to all the significant places I visited.

I recommend turning on other layers while you're going around - so you can see other people's photos of the areas and stuff like that as you look around.

The file should be downloadble from here - http://tinyurl.com/5uahseu

Let me know if you have any issues.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
26/3/2011

I woke this morning around 3am and went to the toilet, and slept fitfully from then on. I was becoming very tetchy to just get home, which I knew would happen. I got up at first light, before actual sunrise and started to pack right away. Kate informed me that I could be back home by 1:30 if I just drove (she was taking me via Brand Highway). That gave me plenty of time to do other things on the way, so I decided that I would head home today.

Home again )

Today's bird list )

See that last day's photos here.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
26/3/2011

I woke this morning around 3am and went to the toilet, and slept fitfully from then on. I was becoming very tetchy to just get home, which I knew would happen. I got up at first light, before actual sunrise and started to pack right away. Kate informed me that I could be back home by 1:30 if I just drove (she was taking me via Brand Highway). That gave me plenty of time to do other things on the way, so I decided that I would head home today.

Home again )

Today's bird list )

See that last day's photos here.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
25/3/2011

I actually slept pretty well out at Billabong. Of course the flies appeared in droves as soon as the sun did, so I must have packed up the fastest I ever have. Due to the infuriatingness of the flies and the fact that I wanted some good roadhouse food, I opted for breakfast at the roadhouse – a chicken and cheese crumbed sausage and a bottle of V8. Worked for me. I was on the road by 7:30.

More gorgeous gorges )

Today's bird list )

All of today's photos are hidden behind this link.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
25/3/2011

I actually slept pretty well out at Billabong. Of course the flies appeared in droves as soon as the sun did, so I must have packed up the fastest I ever have. Due to the infuriatingness of the flies and the fact that I wanted some good roadhouse food, I opted for breakfast at the roadhouse – a chicken and cheese crumbed sausage and a bottle of V8. Worked for me. I was on the road by 7:30.

More gorgeous gorges )

Today's bird list )

All of today's photos are hidden behind this link.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
24/3/2011

I had to write today’s diary by hand due to the laptop having barely any charge.

Another day where plans changed multiple times. I am currently hiding from flies in my car at Billabong. Unfortunately a bunch of the buggers have got in anyway. I really, really hope they go away when it gets dark.

The day of flies and broken laptop chargers )

Today's bird list )

See all the photos from today here.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
24/3/2011

I had to write today’s diary by hand due to the laptop having barely any charge.

Another day where plans changed multiple times. I am currently hiding from flies in my car at Billabong. Unfortunately a bunch of the buggers have got in anyway. I really, really hope they go away when it gets dark.

The day of flies and broken laptop chargers )

Today's bird list )

See all the photos from today here.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
23/3/2011

Well. Today I went serious snorkelling. And it was amazing and I want to do it again!!

The tour I went on can accommodate up to 40 people, but our group consisted of 10 people. I was the only 'local' on board, the others were from Slovakia, Switzerland and Germany – I told you this place is chokkers with European tourists.

I explained that my knee was a bit dodgy and Jacqui, one of the guides didn't seem at all worried about the fact. She found me some fins that fitted and told me I was going to need them when we got to the Manta Rays. I figured hey, I'll give them a shot.


Coral Bay
Coral Bay
Ningaloo is a fringing reef - which means it begins very close to shore and ends a few hundred metres to a few kilometres offshore - the wave break marks the delineation clearly. Beyond this the water becomes deeper - this is whale shark territory - it's a lot more expensive to venture out there.



Snorkeling is remarkably easy to learn - especially here )

Today's bird list (would have a fish list if I could ID them!) )

Not many photos today, as I spent most of it underwater, but here are the rest.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
23/3/2011

Well. Today I went serious snorkelling. And it was amazing and I want to do it again!!

The tour I went on can accommodate up to 40 people, but our group consisted of 10 people. I was the only 'local' on board, the others were from Slovakia, Switzerland and Germany – I told you this place is chokkers with European tourists.

I explained that my knee was a bit dodgy and Jacqui, one of the guides didn't seem at all worried about the fact. She found me some fins that fitted and told me I was going to need them when we got to the Manta Rays. I figured hey, I'll give them a shot.


Coral Bay
Coral Bay
Ningaloo is a fringing reef - which means it begins very close to shore and ends a few hundred metres to a few kilometres offshore - the wave break marks the delineation clearly. Beyond this the water becomes deeper - this is whale shark territory - it's a lot more expensive to venture out there.



Snorkeling is remarkably easy to learn - especially here )

Today's bird list (would have a fish list if I could ID them!) )

Not many photos today, as I spent most of it underwater, but here are the rest.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
22/3/2011

Last night was very buggy. A couple of big cockroaches had taken up residence in the ablution block and I had ants and these dark crickets on my swag. When I went to unroll the top layer of my swag, I found it was FULL of these darn cricket things. Of course all they did was crawl underneath the bit of cloth, still on my swag, and it took a lot of shaking to get them all out – I found one had hitched a ride when I set up my swag this evening. I also was getting a nosefull of the fish bin on occasion. Not pleasant. It was also a barrel of laughs getting in and out of the swag with my bung knee. Despite all this I slept quite well.

I think I fell in love today )

Today's bird list )

See all of today's photos here.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
22/3/2011

Last night was very buggy. A couple of big cockroaches had taken up residence in the ablution block and I had ants and these dark crickets on my swag. When I went to unroll the top layer of my swag, I found it was FULL of these darn cricket things. Of course all they did was crawl underneath the bit of cloth, still on my swag, and it took a lot of shaking to get them all out – I found one had hitched a ride when I set up my swag this evening. I also was getting a nosefull of the fish bin on occasion. Not pleasant. It was also a barrel of laughs getting in and out of the swag with my bung knee. Despite all this I slept quite well.

I think I fell in love today )

Today's bird list )

See all of today's photos here.
gemfyre: (Mala)
Originally posted to [livejournal.com profile] abandonedplaces. I'm posting it in my own LJ too because I don't want to lose it.

Wittenoom was once the largest town in the Pilbara - a region of Western Australia now most famous for it's stunning national parks (Karijini and Millstream/Chichester) and iron ore mining. As early as the 1940s concerns were raised over the dust caused by the processing of blue asbestos - the livelihood of the town and it's reason for being.

By the 1960s many workers and townspeople were coming down with abestosis and mesothelioma due to inhalation of the deadly dust. CSR, the company that owned the mines continued to operate them for 6 years after the health authorities confirmed that the dust was the cause of these fatal diseases. A large lawsuit ensued. Midnight Oil wrote a song about it all - Blue Sky Mine.

From the 1960s onwards the population started to dwindle. Come the 1980s the government was deliberately phasing down the town, demolishing old buildings and gradually cutting off services. In 2006 power was finally cut off to the towns, it was de-gazetted and mention of it removed from signs and maps. A few tenacious residents still live there however, refusing to leave thier homes. I remember staying here overnight in 1987, when I was just a kid.

I was there again just a few weeks ago on a solo road trip covering most of the state. I couldn't resist the opportunity to go and take a few photos. I was a little blase about the risk, but by the time I got to the town I decided to play it safe and closed the vents on my car and kept the windows up (hence the reflections in some of the photos). A later look at the town and nearby Wittenoom Gorge on Google Earth revealed the main danger - huge tailing piles still in the gorge. I wouldn't want to visit on a windy day.

The (quite detailed) Wiki article about the town is here.


Wittenoom - Gemstone Gallery
Wittenoom - Gemstone Gallery
Even the name sounds eerie now. Wittenoom was a town that rose up around the asbestos mining industry. I believe the Gemstone Gallery was the last business to close, catering to curious visitors until the very end.



More... )
gemfyre: (Mala)
Originally posted to [livejournal.com profile] abandonedplaces. I'm posting it in my own LJ too because I don't want to lose it.

Wittenoom was once the largest town in the Pilbara - a region of Western Australia now most famous for it's stunning national parks (Karijini and Millstream/Chichester) and iron ore mining. As early as the 1940s concerns were raised over the dust caused by the processing of blue asbestos - the livelihood of the town and it's reason for being.

By the 1960s many workers and townspeople were coming down with abestosis and mesothelioma due to inhalation of the deadly dust. CSR, the company that owned the mines continued to operate them for 6 years after the health authorities confirmed that the dust was the cause of these fatal diseases. A large lawsuit ensued. Midnight Oil wrote a song about it all - Blue Sky Mine.

From the 1960s onwards the population started to dwindle. Come the 1980s the government was deliberately phasing down the town, demolishing old buildings and gradually cutting off services. In 2006 power was finally cut off to the towns, it was de-gazetted and mention of it removed from signs and maps. A few tenacious residents still live there however, refusing to leave thier homes. I remember staying here overnight in 1987, when I was just a kid.

I was there again just a few weeks ago on a solo road trip covering most of the state. I couldn't resist the opportunity to go and take a few photos. I was a little blase about the risk, but by the time I got to the town I decided to play it safe and closed the vents on my car and kept the windows up (hence the reflections in some of the photos). A later look at the town and nearby Wittenoom Gorge on Google Earth revealed the main danger - huge tailing piles still in the gorge. I wouldn't want to visit on a windy day.

The (quite detailed) Wiki article about the town is here.


Wittenoom - Gemstone Gallery
Wittenoom - Gemstone Gallery
Even the name sounds eerie now. Wittenoom was a town that rose up around the asbestos mining industry. I believe the Gemstone Gallery was the last business to close, catering to curious visitors until the very end.



More... )
gemfyre: (Frogs)
21/3/2011

I just had the scare of my life. Worse I think than getting bogged on a road in the middle of nowhere that no-one had travelled on in days.

I still can't believe it )

Today's bird list )

The rest of today's photos are here.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
21/3/2011

I just had the scare of my life. Worse I think than getting bogged on a road in the middle of nowhere that no-one had travelled on in days.

I still can't believe it )

Today's bird list )

The rest of today's photos are here.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
20/3/2011

Wow, I am actually kinda chilly at the moment. I've just had a swim in the caravan park pool and am sitting in wet bathers wrapped in a wet towel and there is no humidity and a stiff breeze blowing! I am shocked. Perhaps I should have my shower now and do diary when I'm dressed.

I slept like a rock. Got up at some stage to go to the loo as usual (accompanied by about a dozen desert tree frogs – they'd also joined me in the shower), but slept soundly the rest of the night.

New frontiers )

Today's bird list )

See all of today's photos here.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
20/3/2011

Wow, I am actually kinda chilly at the moment. I've just had a swim in the caravan park pool and am sitting in wet bathers wrapped in a wet towel and there is no humidity and a stiff breeze blowing! I am shocked. Perhaps I should have my shower now and do diary when I'm dressed.

I slept like a rock. Got up at some stage to go to the loo as usual (accompanied by about a dozen desert tree frogs – they'd also joined me in the shower), but slept soundly the rest of the night.

New frontiers )

Today's bird list )

See all of today's photos here.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
19/3/2011

My plans for this trip have been pretty maleable, never really more so than today.

I slept in two sections, a bit in the middle there I woke and was kept up by the rowdy happenings at the tavern over the road. They were playing decent music (Doobie Brothers and Eric Clapton among other things), but really, it was nearing 3am and I could hear it clear as a bell!

Plans? What plans? )

Today's bird list )

For more photos of distracting scenery go here.
gemfyre: (Frogs)
19/3/2011

My plans for this trip have been pretty maleable, never really more so than today.

I slept in two sections, a bit in the middle there I woke and was kept up by the rowdy happenings at the tavern over the road. They were playing decent music (Doobie Brothers and Eric Clapton among other things), but really, it was nearing 3am and I could hear it clear as a bell!

Plans? What plans? )

Today's bird list )

For more photos of distracting scenery go here.

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