30th May, 2013 (Thursday)

The weather out here is right up my alley. Cool nights and lovely balmy days, that’s when it’s not raining of course and we haven’t really had all that much rain in the entire trip so far.

We decided to take the run into Emerald today. It’s only 50ks each way.

Emerald sure has expanded in the last three years it really is the hub of the gem fields now and the prices in the cafes reflect it too.

Two toasted ham, cheese and tomato sangas and a hot chocolate each, that will be $32.70 thank you very much. Needless to say the jaw hit the counter and the worst part of it was the sanga was one of the worst I have ever had. How on earth anyone can muck up a ham, cheese and tomato sandwich has got me tossed.

We went to the camping store and bought a new jaffle iron. This one is larger and already seasoned and ready to go. Most of the bread you get these days is quite large and the old iron, aside from falling apart, just wasn’t big enough and you ended up cutting away half the bread.

On the way back to Sapphire there was a wide load ahead of us. The conversation over the UHF was “Pull over and stop” and we thought that a bit strange as usually just pull over a bit and slow down.

It turned out that they were moving a house…..not just a bit of a house…..THE WHOLE HOUSE.

10 meters wide, three front escorts, including two police cars, two escorts right at the back and two escorts bringing up the rear, all the bells and whistles.

Someone asked where they were headed and one of the crew said Longreach. That is going to be one looooong sloooooow trip.

Of course no camera when you need it either.

We took a left and the intersection and went to have a look at Anakie, another gem fossicking place. The only thing there besides a few houses is the pub and according to the sign up the road they do a great pub grub lunch. We didn’t want lunch but found out later that they don’t do meals at all. False advertising.

We drove down a couple of the streets but nothing there to take our interest so we went back to Sapphire and the van and I did the washing.

I am coming down with the “flu” type cold that Rob has had………now I can say Thank you Erin. LOL.

The RSL is open on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 3 till 8 so we went along.

They have a very comprehensive assortment of military memorabilia which is a credit to such a little club.

All drinks are $3.00 it seems, regardless of what you are having. Cheapest we have come across so far and they even provide hot nibbles to go with it.

I didn’t stay all that long as I was not feeling up to par so came back and had a bit of a rest and Rob followed about 30 minutes later, which I really appreciated too. I had thought he would stay a while longer as he was in a pretty deep conversation with some other bloke when I left, but Thankyou Rob.

31st May, 2013

A trip to Rubyvale is the order of the day, a whole 6ks up the road.

It’s probably much the same size as Sapphire except the main buildings are all new.

We thought we would try a ham, cheese and tomato sanga again, surely there couldn’t be two places out here that could muck it up. Happy to say this one was quite nice.

We had a bit of a walk and a drive round but again, unless you are into fossicking then there isn’t all that much to hold your attention.

We did have a look in the gem shop adjacent to the café and I was amazed at the different colours that sapphires come in. You automatically associate sapphires with dark blue, well I did anyway until today. They can come in any colour from clear through yellow, pale blue, dark blue, green (sorta), orange and red. Some really beautiful stones, the most expensive one I could see was $168,000.00.

On the way back to Sapphire we stopped at Pat’s Gems and bought a bucket of wash and a mystery bag which is guaranteed to have at least one decent stone in it so we will see. I won’t be opening the bag until we get back home.

Rob is now sitting outside with three buckets and three plastic bags and is slowly and meticulously going through and sorting and washing the bucket of wash we bought. He has found some nice stones with colour but I wouldn’t think they are worth much but they mean something to us and I will most likely put them into a nice jar when we get home and they can live alongside the opals we got from Lightning Ridge a couple of years ago.

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