Friday 8th May 2009
Alice to Gemtree - 145kms
No Next G reception at Gemtree.

Day 32 - Friday.

Woke up to a cool 'Norm', 7:30am it was 4c outside by our sensor, a tad cool, so I put on my trakky pants and top, and began to pack up camp. As it warmed up I was back in shorts and t shirt. We left camp about 9:30am. Went to the dump point on the outskirts of Alice and emptied the shitter.

Alan and Robyn our neighbours in the King of the Road 5th Wheeller, were also travelling to Gemtree, they are also booked in for the garnet tour tomorrow.
We started the 145km trip by filling up at the BP, then set cruise for 85kph and away we went. We followed the Stuart Hwy North for 70kms and then threw a right onto the Plenty hwy for another 70kms. The traffic was very light and when we turned right, we stopped for a break, in that time, 4 other vans stopped within 300 meters. The Plenty hwy is a single bitumen the whole way to Gemtree, a couple of times I had to pull off the road and let oncoming traffic pass.
We arrived at Gemtree CP about 11:50am and setup camp. It is a nice out of the way place. There are about 15 vans here. The weather is about mid 20s, blue skies, no clouds and a bit of wind. I have setup the Satellite TV and am upset because John and Alison, our new neighbours, have Foxtel and he can receive ch 2,7,9 and 10, we are spewing. We have to get Foxtel satellite. We had drinks with John and Alison this afternoon and they told us about all these good spots for gem fossicking.

Power is switched off at 10:30pm until 6:30am, as it is created by running a large generator in the caravan park.

Tomorrow, we have to be ready at the office by 8:30am, to go garnet fossicking.

This is where we are off too.

Alan and Robyn were coming to Gemtree as well.

Our camp - Gemtree CP.

Saturday 9th May 2009
Fossicking at Gemtree.

Day 33 - Saturday.

Woke up to a cool 'Norm' at 6:30am, Gemtree's power is produced by a large generator and it fires up at 6:30am, so I got up and turned on the power. Last night, the snoring machine was powered all night by the inverter and batteries, all worked well.

At 8:30am, Marg and I lined up at reception to be allocated our equipment for today's Garnet fossicking tour. We left about 8:30am and drove 20kms along the sealed section of the Plenty hwy, then a further 2kms on gravel, then turned right and went 500m inland to Gemtree's own lease claim.
Our fossicking resulted in 10 garnets suitable for rings, ranging from 3mm to 5mm and about 30 garnets which were too small to cut but suitable to be polished. We arrived back at camp about 1:30pm and after Cameron the owner checked out our garnets, we had a beautiful shower, well I did, I don't know about Marg, we were both covered in red dust, after being out in sun for 4 hours. About 4pm, it was beer time, and bed will be early tonight, as we are both buggered after our day in the sun.

Tomorrow, we leave at 8:30am for our Zircon fossicking tour, we are going to be absolutely buggered by tomorrow night or afternoon.

Garnet fossicking tour is about to start.

Nice t shirt, where did she get it!

We were 2kms along here.

Day 34 - Sunday.

Woke up to a cool 'Norm' at 6:30am, it was abalmy 4c at 6:45am. Gemtree's power is produced by a large generator and it fires up at 6:30am, well, 6:45am today, it's late.

At 8:30am, Marg and I are again away for more fossicking. As we drove 10km on a gravel road to the fossicking area, we passed about 10 caravans who had setup camp there. It was very hard using a pick and spade, you had to dig through the gravel, down about 12 to 18inches. We stayed for about 3 hours and our end result was 2 x 4mm and 2 x 3.25mm zircon plus smaller pieces, the larger pieces are large enough to be cut, so Marg is seriously thinking of getting a ring made with the 2 garnets and a zircon, that we collected over the past 2 days, cost should be about $500.

Back at camp, after a lovely shower, it was time for a nanna nap, we were buggered are 2 days of fossicking. The red dust is everywhere, the mighty Navara has red dust in every nook and cranny. It is desperately in need of a good wash.

Tomorrow, we leave for Ti Tree roadhouse for an overnighter, about 200kms then we plan to stay at Wycliffe Well for at least 2 nights.

Good Moon setting.

Another awful sunrise.

The fossicking area, Marg is on the left.

Marg is checking for zircon.

This guy is camped about 100m away and will stay upto 5 months.

Marg still in action.

*2009 - Index page*

**NEXT - Heading to Ti Tree Roadhouse**