|The supermarket in the town of Sapphire|
Firstly, what he forgot to say yesterday, was a) I did a lot of the driving, and despite 9 ½ hours sleep all he did was yawn, b) I stopped for a ‘comfort break’ came out and was told to run, as it turns out to see my 3rd Oz cat, a travelling ragdoll, absolutely beautiful, owned by a woman on a trip with her 2 twentysomething boys, one of which had been walking it on its ‘comfort break’ only for them to get accosted by this ‘nutter’ begging them not to go anywhere till his wife got there! I was grateful!
|Operating the Willoughby Rack|
Walked into the town (village) looking like a wild west town with roads like ‘Dundiggin Way’ and decided to go to buy a bag of wash from Armfest, one of many such places, basically a mine digs out huge amounts of stuff, someone goes through it for the sapphires the size of eggs and the rest goes into buckets for $20 for punters like us who can’t be bothered to dig a metre down in a dry stream bed. So you dry sieve some of your bucket through two stacked sieves of decreasing size, then put it in the funny water bath (the Willoughby rack) to clean out the mud.
|The upturned contents|
Go through the big sieve (not likely to find much) redo the big sieve, till the small sieve is pretty full, then bounce it in the water just right till all the heavy stones have made their way to the middle of the bottom. Obviously you don’t know whether they’ve done this till you tip it up like getting a cake out of a tin, and there, magically is a pile of things that might be sapphires! I was slow, I can’t tell a lie, but was worried about not recognising something, so B read most of the paper, BUT I’ve come away with two stones she thought would have been worth having cut here at $35 dollars each and 36 it’s worth sending to Thailand where they laser cut much smaller ones, for $2.25 each (on top of your $20 recorded mail postage!)
|This could be a good one....|
So all in all this could be an expensive day out, but I really want to send them off having seen the tray of stones one of our neighbours on the campsite have, all amazing, including one they got from here worth $15000!
The temptation to get a bucket of wash from the campsite this afternoon was huge, it’s really addictive, but then there would just have been more to send away, so thus far I’ve resisted! A happy afternoon was spent with one of the two dozen crosswords I ‘liberated’ from the newspapers by the bbq/fire area (B hates me bin diving, but I just want the crosswords!)
We were joined by our neighbours from both sides, the ones with the trays of stones in the safe, under the bed in the caravan, and the ones 35 years from the UK but with the Devon and Yorkshire accents you wouldn’t believe! I think the attraction was B chopping veggies for the stir fry (yes a man chopping, is unusual here!)
Suddenly out of the blue the biggest flock of lorikeets appeared, B was in 7th heaven till he tried to poison them with the chilli on his fingers.
They were the cutest things, half a crust and they were anybodies. Why they had such an interest in his newly washed hair I have no idea! So in our different ways we both had a really good day.
|Brian preparing dinner with a lorikeet on his head and three of our neighbours watching on|
|Dinner rounded off with toasted marshmallows!|