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Published: August 20th 2019
Early Monday morning and we were all signed up for the volunteer program and connected to power - we revelled in the heat of the air con, but it was a cold Sunday evening where we had to rely on heavy jumpers and the warmth of the gas oven!
Lesley, our nomad mentor and her husband Geoff (aka Godfrey) picked us up early afternoon and took us out to the family farms at Carapee Hill 1/2hr away from Kimba. Their nephew runs one of the farms now but he is also an avid collector of rocks & mineral specimens. For over 20 years he has been fossicking, collecting, buying and selling from all over Australia and overseas – his collection of 2,400+ specimens are on display behind glass in a ramshackle tin shed and there is a storage room full of boxes of even more stones and rocks waiting to be catalogued. This collection, “Minerals on Eyre”, should be in town because more people need to see the largest mineral & fossil display on the Eyre Peninsula. At the moment it is open to the public by appointment only, so we felt rather privileged
to be taken there by family members. It was amazing!
As if that wasn’t special enough, Geoff then drove us around the farm to show off his bulldozer. Not just any old bulldozer, but Len Beadell’s D7 dozer. Len Beadell is famous for scraping and carving all the tracks around Woomera and in particular for creating the Gunbarrel Highway. The Gunbarrel stretches for 1350km and runs west to east through Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia. Completed in 1958 the ambitious project took over 4 years to complete and was undertaken to provide access sites for weapons testing at Woomera and Maralinga. The last job Len used the D7 for was the Maralinga airstrip; it is in need of some tlc but it still runs and considering it would have been built in the 1950’s and all the work it has done all John could say was “bloody amazing”. As a teenager John had read all of Len’s books and was enthralled by his outback adventures and achievements.
It was certainly another one of those days that not many tourists would get to enjoy –
how lucky are we?
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