Day 279 | Leinster, day 1: no bike today

rest day

I almost biked through here yesterday but I noted that there was no one resident in the caravan park (except for a group of suited Chinese gold prospectors) and that it did not charge for use of the washing machine.

Time to recharge the batteries and so Kalgoorlie can wait a bit. I’ve had 5 days on the road since Meekatharra and that’s a distance of about, well precisely, 403 km. Half on blacktop, half on clay, gravel, or sand. There’s been daily, well afternoon, thunderstorms since I was in Karijini National Park and last night was no exception.

The temptation for repose is too strong, the muscles deserve respite for a day or so. The supermarket has reasonable prices for a change and I can spend a little time pigging out on fresh food.

The WA nickel boom has had a temporary hiatus and so the town seems in standby mode: the resident population is still driving around in those white 4WDs with the iridescent yellow strip on the side and the orange flag waving around atop but the FIFO workers’ camps are eerily deserted. Leinster usually has 900 permanents and another 900 FIFOs.

There’s a little too much beige Colorbond when you get 200 of the cells en masse surrounded by more beige colorbond fencing in what they term a ‘village’. I peaked in the window of one of the dongers and they look designed with Taylorian perfection. Not much motion possible inside the cocoon but then again not much time would be spent in a vertical position after the shift’s hard grind. The interiors seem to have linen textured vinyl surfaces for ready cleaning, colour scheme off white. Most cabins have reflective foil in the windows indicating the lot of the shift worker.

The WA economy seems as if it is cranking up again judging by the traffic on the roads.

Iron ore is back at full tilt in the Pilbara and gold digging never skipped a beat with the GFC: nickel seems the only casualty although there are signs the zombie is about to be revived.