A very wet and cold day of riding again today 6.9 degrees, but a cold Southerly was in my favour because it gave me a tail wind for most of the 115 km distance from Salmon Gums to Norseman.
Long stretches of road that seem endless appear on the horizon now, far in contrast to SE Asia, nothing in between towns (100 km apart) that I can gaze at other than interesting things such as wild native trees, shrubbery, flowers and the odd wildlife. The Asian countries had many shop stalls along the way where one could stop and try some of the Asian food or simply chat to the locals. Now, I really have to focus more on the long stretches of road with no amenities and nothing to do in between except for getting the distances done and take my mind of being cold and keeping far left as possible when the road trains come zooming through. It's certainly outstanding to have a great support crew who posses great characteristics - sense of humour, caring, medical skills, supportive and outright great leadership styles. They're ensuring as much as possible that my health and well being is totally 100 percent priority. I cannot express enough how fantastic they are.
I'm sure there is plenty to report with my blogs along the way even though it's quite isolated out here. There is the odd point/places of interest with signs to historical places of interest and on the ride progress of course. Just out of Norseman now with another big warm fire going and the lads have cooked up what appears from the smell, a very nice dinner ahead. Internet signal maybe limited over the next few days, but, please do come on line to keep checking my progress, however, I maybe off the radar for a day or so whilst riding out on the Nullarbor Plains.
Norseman is a town located in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia along the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway, 726 kilometres (451 mi) east of Perth and 278 metres (912 ft) above sea level. It is also the starting point of the Eyre Highway, and the last major town in Western Australia before the South Australian border 720 kilometres (447 mi) to the east. At the 2006 census, Norseman had a population of 857.
The quest for gold led to the establishment of Norseman. Today there are a number of small goldmining operations in the area but only the Central Norseman Gold Corporation can be considered a major producer. Gold was first found in the Norseman area in 1892, about 10 km south of the town, near Dundas. The "Dundas Field" was proclaimed in August 1893 and a townsite gazetted there.
In August 1894, Lawrence Sinclair, his brother George Sinclair, and Jack Alsopp discovered a rich gold reef which Sinclair named after his horse, Hardy Norseman. The family originally came from the Shetland Isles in December 1863. Laurie's brother James was working in Esperance as the Post and Telegraphist Master. In January 1895 the mining warden asked the Government to declare a townsite for the 200 or so miners who had arrived. It was gazetted on 22 May. The Aboriginal name for the area is "Jimberlana". A mining entrepreneur from Melbourne Mr Ernest McCaughan led a party of 13 by Steamship from Melbourne to Esperance to walk inland and discover the central part of the Gold Field. He later went on to develop substantial mining interests in Western Australia and Tasmania.
Norseman initially struggled to develop because of the established town of Dundas; but, between 1895 and 1901, a post office, banks, doctor, courthouse, stores and churches were established and, in 1899 Cobb & Co, mail coaches started delivering mail to Norseman. In 1935, Western Mining Corporation came to Norseman and invested significantly in its infrastructure, resulting in new bitumen roads, electricity and an extension of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme to the town.
Once it was the second-richest goldfield in Western Australia, next to the Golden Mile of Kalgoorlie. It is claimed that since 1892, over 100 tonnes of gold have been extracted from the area. The Norseman Gold Mine is Australia’s longest continuously running gold mining operation. As of 2006, it had been in operation for more than 65 years, producing in excess of 5.5 million ounces of gold in that time.
Truck, Juvy, Gunney, Terry and Ned Kelly on the long ride home near Norseman WA
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