Thursday, 3 November 2011

On my last day in Broken Hill

On Thursday, I walked down Argent Street to find some breakfast, explore the possibility of posting some bulky bits home and get a bike box. The first and third worked but the second got too complicated.
Later in the morning, I went to the Royal Flying Doctor museum for a nice if very sobering tour. I rode up to the Broken Earth Cafe and Restaurant for lunch, but was put off by the prices. I rode back into town where I had a cheaper lunch. I went off to look for a historical marker relating the Battle of Broken Hill but failed to find it. More on that later. I then went to White's mineral art gallery and mining museum. My route took me along a washboarded section of road. White's offered a fascinating glimpse of Broken Hill's mining history. The mineral art section consisted of pictures made by gluing various powdered minerals to surfaces. I wasn't impressed by the chart detailling the nature of the minerals, as it described bauxite as iron oxide, rather than as an alumnium ore. It does contain iron though.
I then found a historical marker relating to the Battle of Broken Hill. The latter was the only fighting to take place in Australia in the First World War. On New Year's Day 1915, a pair of Muslims in an ice cream cart opened fire with rifles on a train carrying picnickers. Ten people were hit, four fatally. The train reversed out of danger and a posse of soldiers, police and angry, armed civilians quickly tracked down the two and shot them.
After looking at the marker, I noticed I was missing my bike computer. I retraced my steps through the museum and back to the washboarded road. There I found the computer, but it had been run over and screen was cracked and useless. My consolation is that it was on the last day and that I got about 10200 km out of it.

I went back to the hostel, arranged for a taxi at 5:15 tomorrow and packed Leonardo. Sydney tomorrow.

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