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July 17, 2013

Fossicking for Kangaroos and hopping gold at Hill End :-)

CLD_8924SonnySo after Orange, we arrived on dark at little historical town, Hill End ( gets dark at 5:30 here in winter now, crazy ) Next morning and the scene outside our bedroom, frost everywhere. We stayed upstairs in Hosie's old grocery store CLD_8925Sonnybeautiful day coming up, but a cold one CLD_8928SonnyAs it was dark when we arrived, I go for a little morning stroll before breakfast, and look what I spot on the block of land across from Hosie's CLD_8932Sonny
some kangaroos grazing in the morning sun CLD_8934Sonnytrying to get closer to one of them CLD_8936Sonnyrelatively tame for a wild kangaroo CLD_8939Sonnychurch service CLD_8940Sonnycouple more, probably enjoying the warm sun rays as much as I am CLD_8941SonnyHey ! No fighting outside church CLD_8942Sonny

CLD_8945Sonny
party's over CLD_8947Sonnyoff they hop CLD_8951Sonnybig old pine tree where a church used to be, in its hey day, Hill End had some 52 pubs ( licensed and non licensed ),now only one left & well over a dozen churches and from memory, a population of up to 8000 at one stage, now just under a 100 remain CLD_8953SonnyAfter breakfast we drive up to one of the look outs,Beaufoy ( named after a local 1870's photographer ) and this is what it was all about Hawks Hill, see all the gravel on the side, there were about 20 mines along there and in the middle of that hill is where one of Australia's largest nuggets was found some 50 meters underground weighing in at close to 300kg, strike it rich CLD_8954Sonnythe end of Hawk Hill and at the bottom of the photo, a still operating mine CLD_8956Sonnyquite a lot of small alluvial gold is still found around these parts, so best we have a go to CLD_8959Sonnywe got our pans and some one optimistically thought we would each need one of these jars to collect our small pieces we would find...for sure CLD_8957Sonnywe gave it a go, but involved getting our hands wet and dirty ( dirty was not a problem ) but th water was ice cold, I think we might have to come back on a warmer day, say early autumn :-) CLD_8960Sonnyall (cold ) hands on deck CLD_8961Sonnyeven though all is bushy, you can tell there was once a thriving community out here, judging by this old orchard CLD_8962Sonny
amazing blue sky day today CLD_8964Sonnyfinding lots of old artifacts, but.... CLD_8966Sonnyafter spending well over an hour here, still nothing in these little jars
we leave empty (cold) handed CLD_8967Sonnydriving down the blue mountains, back to Sydney CLD_8969Sonny
"There's gold in them hills"

:-)

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