Piles of dirt, long trains, sculptures and plants

Trip Start Jul 27, 2009
Trip End Nov 07, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Monday, August 3, 2009

Alec felt at home in Broken Hill, where digging for rocks is the major industry  He purchased his very own collection of rock samples with his pocket money.  He writes:
We saw a very long train in Broken Hill [we reckon about 1 km long].  We went up a very big pile of dirt!!! There was a building on it!!!

The big pile of dirt is fairly mind boggling, especially when you imagine the corresponding volume of holes that must be under the town.  One of the buildings on top of the pile is a memorial for the more than 800 mine workers killed in industrial accidents.  Hilary and Alec searched for the youngest (14), and the oldest (74).  Our tour guide yesterday remarked that in the boom times there were 6,500 mine workers employed in Broken Hill.  Advanced mechanisation and computerisation has reduced this number to about 600.  Industrial safety has also improved, so thankfully deaths and injuries are now far less frequent.

We visited another big pile of dirt (this time natural): the Living Desert Flora and Fauna Park, and viewed the sunset from the Sculpture Park above it.  Carrie was pleased to see Sturt Desert Peas in flower, and remembers her father trying to photograph them about 40 years ago. We gave the 'sunset' setting on the new camera a workout, as you can see.

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