Today I spent a bit of time in Lightning Ridge which is over 750km from our home. To get there you drive west, and just keep going. It is a pretty good drive. You watch along the way as development decreases and you are left with vast spaces of flat land interspersed with cotton, wheat and sheep. Lightning Ridge is world famous for having an abundance of opals and therefore attracts a lively mix of traditional people of the land (Aboriginal Australians), farmers and people from all over the world who brave 40+degrees Celsius during much of summer to strike it rich by finding a black opal. When you drive out to the miners area it is pretty amazing. The places are built from scratch and people are taking a risk by living here. They don´t normally start out with a lot of dough and not being sure whether they will strike it rich, their houses are pretty simple to say the least. You can find their places and the “streets” by looking for the old car doors nestled into trees to mark, for example, yellow or green car door drive. Driving down one of these dirt roads you meet some of the miners, who will offer you a go at mining or take you on a tour of their underground mine. Being out in the bush, the place is pretty amazing also for the night time sky for anyone interested in astrology, and as the name suggests a pretty wicked light show when a storm passes through!

This house is made completely of recycled iron roof sheeting nailed onto felled trees. The house typically sits on logs which have been dug a little bit into the ground to make for a level floor. The posts have been dug with footings to provide some safety when a big storm comes through but of course over time, she does sink and move a little…

This was a common thing back in my parents day. Its known as a thunder box by those who used them due to the noises that sometimes came from them! To others who are not so familiar with this, it is also known as an outdoor toilet. Mum and Dad reckoned it really sucked during a winters night to get up and make the walk outside freezing and dark to do your business. But sometimes it was better than during a summer night when deadly snakes might come and rest on cool grass spots close to a house! As we became richer, we started to put dunnies inside and have proper plumbing. We also got rid of the tanks for storing water. Now due to environmental concerns, the government are encouraging us to bring them back. The bushmen knew best!

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