Got to Menzies and stopped at the Caltex, which was run by a large Aboriginal woman. She was this wonderful motherly lady, the sort of mum ready with a kind word and a hug, or the wooden spoon if you stepped out of line. I had some brekky there and asked what the road to Lake Ballard was like.
She said it was good...
And it was!
Probably the best dirt road I've driven this trip. So a fabulously easy drive to the salt lake, though I took it slow, keeping my eyes open for anything interesting.
Got to the parking area and there was a big warning sign, telling me that I'd better wear suncream, I'd better take 5 litres of water with me and allow 2 hours, and that if I wanted to camp the night (something I had been considering) I had to ask at... the Caltex at Menzies, fifty kilometres away. Bugger.
So I loaded up. Thought about taking my full-sized tripod, but knew I'd be likely to get quite tired and I was already carrying a lot of weight, so decided against it. I had the mini one and that would do for most things.
The sculptures at Lake ballard are made from laser scans of some of the people from Menzies. There are 51 scattered about an area of around 11 square kilometres. I rather like them. They are simple in their form, made of metal, wonderfully corroded and just work so well in that environment.
I snapped off lots of photos. The spacing means that most figures you look at have ghosts of themselves vanishing in the heat haze somewhere behind them. The texture of the salt crystals, too, was gorgeous. Some spots had long squiggly lines of them stretching along the surface, while others had formed large ridges and bubbles.
Along the way I found skeleton (emu? hard to tell) and a grasshopper that had started to get a fine layer of salt over some of its body. After wandering for a while, I headed for some red sand and trees for a break from the sun.
It was a nice spot. I took the chance to strip naked and roll around in the red sand for a while. The idea had occurred a few days before, that if I found some of that really vibrantly red sand I'd rub it into my skin, since I don't know when I'll next be amongst it. Very glad I did.
I then sat in some shade, ate and drank, looking out at the salt lake with its unnaturally thin figures dotted about. A bird came down to say hi, no idea what sort. It hung about in the tree, totally unconcerned by my sitting there, and started grooming itself. Hespa would have loved it :)
Headed back out onto the lake took some more pics and posed nude with a statue. Hey, they're all nude, so why not? Took one of the best self-posed pics I've ever taken of myself, so it'll go up when the rest of the pics go up. For those of you who are tired of my naked arse - find me someone, male or female, with a better body and who is willing to travel with me and pose for pics, and I'll use them! It'd be a lot easier, trust me.
After five hours and three litres of water I headed back. Decided to make for Kal again, since I knew I could have a shower and get rid of the suncream and dust. Stopped at Comet Vale for a look, but there was literally nothing to photograph. The town was abandoned 80+ years ago and there's nothing of interest left, even for me.
Further down the road, got a piccie of a disused railway hut, one of three remaining buildings from an old town. Of the other two, one had danger signs and the other was obviously lived in.
Got back here, wandered the night looking for the net cafe and talking to people on the phone. Net cafe was closed, so I went back and crashed out at the Golddust again.
Next bunch of entries are probably several days to a week away. Tomorrow I'm off to tour a brothel.
Wonder if any of the girls are DW fans?