Kalgoorlie!

I headed up to Kalgoorlie this weekend for work. I was performing some Website training for the Uniting Church congregation up there. I caught the train up there and back, which may have sounded great in theory but there was a whole heap of fun on both trips.

On the way up there, it was fairly uneventful – apart from the guy next to me sleeping the whole way which made it difficult for me to get out to get dinner. I got out easy, but I think I woke him up when I climbed back in. Oh well. We were also slowed for a little bit as there was a car crash in West Kalgoorlie, which apparently pushed the boom gates across the track, so we had to wait to get that fixed. I think we ended up being half an hour late. I was billeted with a lovely older lady, Fae, who was an absolute delight to stay with.

Saturday morning was my work time. There ended up being 4 people there for the training. I had bought a video camera to video my training to turn it into a DVD for other congregations, but the Air Con (which is necessary in Kal) was a bit loud, and my memory card ran out of memory before I finished the training so I might need to try it again at the next training session. The training went well, and I’m excited to see what they are going to start doing with their website.

My panorama of the super pit. Even the photo is massive - the photo I've uploaded is 7% of the original image, which has been reduced further for this post. Click on the image to see the uploaded size.

After the training, I got a guided tour of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, including the Golden Mile and the Super Pit. It’s really quite an amazing city – far larger than I expected, and the Super Pit is far larger than I expected as well. You stand up on the viewing platform and look down and think “I expected this to be larger” – and then you notice how small the massive dump trucks are and see how massive the super pit actually is. The pit is currently about 360m deep and will eventually be over 500m deep. It’s rather incredible.

The afternoon was spent in the comfortable air conditioning of the house, where I did a bit of playing on my guitar. I’ve picked up some nice arrangements of songs such as Mighty to Save which are gorgeous on acoustic guitar, so now that I have this video camera, I might be recording a few songs onto YouTube.

Saturday Evening I went to the Kalgoorlie speedway to view the Late Model Sedans. Speedway in Kalgoorlie is done slightly differently – you drive your car up to the track and either watch from the comfort of your car, or reverse your ute in and sit in the couch you’ve put in the tray of your ute. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up seeing any racing as the track got too wet in the preparation (combination of rain the night before, and drivers telling the workers that it was still too dry). But I did get some hilarious vision of the track prep guys going round, including video of the grader drifting around a corner.

Sunday, and before church Fae and I went for a drive to see the Kalgoorlie Golf Course. It looks fantastic, and I’m tempted to take a weekend off to head up there and play a round of Golf or two. Church was great, and I played Relient K’s For the moments I feel faint, which went down really well. After church, a trip to the Kalgoorlie Museum before lunch and then off to catch the train back.

The train back was worse than the train there. First of all, we left the station late because there was a signals issue. When we eventually got moving, everyone in Car 1 (which I was in) got moved to Car 3 because the air con had died in Car 1. And then along the way, we stopped 3 or 4 times because of trains in front of us that blocked our path. So instead of the nice 8:40pm arrival time, we ended up arriving at 10:40pm. And because I couldn’t get mobile reception on my phone, I wasn’t able to let Liesl know. It was the worst two hours, because all I wanted to do was see my wife, and I couldn’t even talk to her to let her know what was happening. It was tough.

But I’m back now, and have a day off today (but I do need to head into CCWA to help set up the network). So I best be off to do that. I’ll upload the videos of the Speedway later today, so please come back and take a look. Here’s the video I made of the Speedway vehicles drifting around the mud. Enjoy!

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Author: Ben Clapton

I'm an Officer in The Salvation Army, currently appointed with my wife as Corps Officers at the Rochester Corps in country Victoria (20 minutes out of Echuca). I play violin and guitar, amongst many others, and love golf and running.

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